Friday, January 21, 2022

Now, Najib’s 1MDB trial postponed over MySejahtera status

The former prime minister has been categorised as a person under surveillance while his lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is a casual contact.

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Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court was postponed to tomorrow as his MySejahtera status is currently yellow, classifying him as a person under surveillance (PUS).

Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah vacated today’s hearing after Najib’s counsel Hariharan Tara Singh informed the court that the MySejahtera status of both Najib and his lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah remained as “PUS” and “casual contact” respectively, even after having informed the health ministry of their Covid-19 test results.

Hariharan said upon their arrival at court earlier, Najib’s MySejahtera status was stated as a PUS, while Shafee’s status was “casual contact”.

He said both turned to the blue, low-risk status after the court security instructed them to refresh their MySejahtera profiles.

“However, they were asked to refresh their MySejahtera profiles again after entering the courtroom and their status reverted back to ‘casual contact’ and ‘PUS’,” said Hariharan.

Sequerah then instructed Najib and Shafee to take a RTK Antigen test and to inform the health ministry of the results so that their status could be reassessed.

He also ordered for the proceeding to resume tomorrow, for the defence to provide updates on their MySejahtera status.

Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said the two witnesses who were supposed to testify this week, former 1MDB chairman Mohd Bakke Salleh and Najib’s special officer Wan Ahmad Shihab Wan Ismail, could not make it to court.

“We have received an instruction from senior deputy public prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram to apply for the trial to be conducted in a hybrid manner,” said Akram.

Hariharan however objected to the proposal for an online hearing, saying the prosecution had almost one month to prepare for the new witnesses to appear in court.

Sequerah said he would decide on the hybrid trial application tomorrow.

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.

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