Saturday, November 27, 2021

Court allows Najib’s bid to amend dates for travel to Singapore

A three-man panel of judges says the former prime minister provided reasonable grounds for his request.

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The Court of Appeal today allowed Najib Razak’s application to amend the dates for the temporary release and return of his passport for travel to Singapore.

A panel of three judges led by justice Kamaludin Md Said said the court allowed Najib’s application as the former prime minister had provided reasonable grounds.

“The court has read Najib’s application and the supporting affidavit. I believe the reasons given by the applicant are reasonable and because of that, the prosecution did not object.

“If there are no reasonable grounds, the court will be misunderstood and seen as arbitrarily allowing the application,” he said, adding however that he hoped there would not be a third reason by Najib to amend the dates.

He said the first application by Najib to amend the dates for the release and return of his passport was for him to visit his daughter, who is in confinement in Singapore, and today, in the second application, it was because he was needed to help in the Melaka state election.

“However, after considering the reasonable grounds given, the court allowed the applicant’s application and his passport is to be returned to the court on or before Dec 6,” said Kamaludin who sat with judges Nordin Hassan and Hashim Hamzah.

Najib, 68, applied to amend the dates for the temporary release and return of his impounded passport from Oct 20 and Nov 22 to Oct 25 and Dec 6 for him to visit his daughter Nooryana Najwa, who gave birth to her second child two days ago in Singapore.

In the supporting affidavit, the Pekan MP said he was needed to help the Umno election machinery in the Melaka state election slated for Nov 20 as party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would be in Germany seeking treatment for his spinal injuries.

Earlier, lawyer Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee, representing Najib, told the court that Najib’s travel schedule to Singapore had to be changed because he was entrusted with the responsibility to ensure that Umno acts accordingly in the Melaka state election during Zahid’s absence.

He said the application to amend the dates had been allowed by the Kuala Lumpur High Court which is hearing Najib’s criminal case.

Deputy public prosecutor Shafiq Hasim did not object to the application.

On July 28, 2020, Najib was found guilty of seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power involving RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds. The case is now at the appeal stage at the Court of Appeal.

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