Wednesday, October 15, 2008


A special Malaysian court consisting of a panel of five judges ordered ex-Agong, Tuanku Jaafar Tuanku Abdul Rahman to settle a $1 million debt to the Standard Chartered Bank in an unprecedented verdict that ended a centuries old tradition shielding Malaysia's royal Sultans from legal prosecution.

"This would be an ordinary case but what is exceptional is that it involves a ruler," the bank's lawyer, Robert Lazar, told The Associated Press.

A special panel of Malaysia's top five judges unanimously ruled that Tuanku Jaafar was liable for a $1 million credit provided by the bank in a 1999 business contract involving him and the U.S.-based Connecticut Bank of Commerce. Tuanku Jaafar was Malaysia's king at the time

Lazar said Tuanku Jaafar cannot appeal the verdict and Standard Chartered will be able to recover the payment from the ruler's bank deposits.

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