Saturday, May 15, 2021

Najib’s 1MDB trial, SRC appeal hearing postponed as key lawyer under Covid-19 quarantine

Prosecution says the defence applied for the postponement last Friday.

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Najib Razak’s trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court over the 1MDB scandal and his appeal in the SRC International case at the Court of Appeal have been deferred as one of his key lawyers is under quarantine for Covid-19.

The matter was confirmed by lawyer Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee in a WhatsApp message to reporters today.

“Both cases (SRC and 1MDB) had to be vacated this week because a key member of our team has to undergo testing and quarantine due to significant close contact to a number of confirmed Covid-19 patients.

“Considering that the rest of the team has been working closely with the lawyer, the necessary precautions need to be taken,” he said.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib meanwhile said the defence team had applied for the postponement last Friday.

“They sent a letter to court late Friday evening,” he said in a WhatsApp message, adding that High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah had allowed the defence’s application.

Today, the defence was supposed to cross-examine former 1MDB CEO Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman, who is the 10th prosecution witness.

He has been on the stand since September last year.

Najib, 67, faces four charges of abusing his position to obtain gratification totalling RM2.3 billion in 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same money.

In the SRC International case, he is appealing against the High Court’s decision sentencing him to 12 years’ jail and a fine of RM210 million after finding him guilty on seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of position involving RM42 million in SRC International funds.

His appeal hearing in the SRC International case had been fixed for continuation this Thursday.

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