Monday, September 20, 2021

1MDB trial adjourned for Najib to attend BN meeting on PM candidate

The judge allows Najib's request due to country's current circumstances.

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Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today was adjourned to 2.30pm as the former prime minister needed to attend a critical meeting at the World Trade Centre KL at 11am in connection with the choice of candidate for the prime minister’s post.

High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed Najib’s application to cut short the morning session at 10.45am as the Pekan MP needed to attend the meeting.

“Can I just state for the record for the avoidance of doubt that I’m allowing the request by the accused only because of the peculiar circumstances on the current issues of the country at this point of time, and I suppose the importance of this meeting is achieving a resolution.

“So it is only because of that. I don’t want to give the impression that the application on other meetings or events is to be allowed. Just this application. I can accommodate him to attend the meeting but we need to continue at 2.30pm. So, I’ll see you at 2.30pm,” Sequerah said.

Earlier, Najib’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informed the court that Barisan Nasional (BN) parties would hold a critical meeting at 11am today in connection with the choice of candidate for the prime minister’s post.

“My client is the BN adviser, he needs to be there with Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi together with the rest of the party leaders, to make a decision,” said the lawyer.

Today’s morning session began with Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman, 49, the former CEO of 1MDB, beingcross-examined by Shafee on the transaction of millions in funds from 1MDB.

Najib, 68, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

Yesterday, the Umno Supreme Council also held a special meeting at the same venue to discuss the party’s candidate for prime minister, whose name will be submitted to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah today.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun, in a statement yesterday, asked MPs to submit a letter to Istana Negara on their choice of candidate to be nominated as the ninth prime minister.

The letter must be submitted to Istana Negara by 4pm today in order to be taken into consideration.

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