Saturday, January 22, 2022

Najib’s 1MDB trial delayed again as judge decides against hybrid proceeding for now

The former prime minister's MySejahtera status still classifies him as a person under surveillance.

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

Earlier, justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah dismissed the prosecution’s request to conduct the trial in a hybrid manner, in which Najib and his lawyers would join the proceedings through video conferencing.

“After hearing submissions by both parties and upon reflecting on the matter, I have decided against hybrid proceedings for now, but I am not ruling it out for the future,” said the judge who then allowed the proceeding to be adjourned to Dec 16.

Yesterday, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib applied for the court to allow a hybrid proceeding under Section 15A of the Courts of Judicature (Amendment) Act 2020, which would enable the court to conduct a remote proceeding with Najib, who is barred from entering the court complex due to his MySejahtera status.

The section enables the Federal Court, the Court of Appeal, and the High Court to conduct proceedings through a live video or television link or any other electronic means of communication.

The defence is set to cross-examine the 13th prosecution witness, former 1MDB chief financial officer Azmi Tahir, when the trial continues on Thursday.

Najib, 68, faces 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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