Saturday, May 21, 2022

No prosecution witnesses for the day, Najib’s 1MDB trial postponed

The prosecution says it was difficult getting other witnesses at such short notice.

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Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial this afternoon was vacated after the High Court was informed that no prosecution witnesses would turn up to testify.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said the prosecution had tried to call a few witnesses to come to court but to no avail as most of them were working and had their own matters to attend to.

“We could not get them at such short notice. Most of them are at work. I apologise for this, My Lord. Therefore, I’m humbly applying for the trial to be vacated for today. The next dates for this trial are Jan 26 and 27.

“We already prepared four witnesses to be on standby on those dates. The witnesses are former 1MDB chief financial officer Azmi Tahir, former 1MDB director Ismee Ismail, former chairman of 1MDB Mohd Bakke Salleh and Wan Ahmad Shihab Wan Ismail, Najib’s former special officer.

“If anything happens, we will have a backup, not like today. I apologise for this,” he said.

Trial judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah then thanked the prosecutor for his efforts.

“See you all on Jan 26,” he said.

During proceedings this morning, the judge ordered the prosecution team to get other witnesses to testify after the 12th prosecution witness, Azmi, who was supposed to continue testifying today, came down with a fever.

The judge asked the prosecution to try to get at least one of the over 50 prosecution witnesses to attend the afternoon proceedings.

Najib, the Pekan MP, 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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