Saturday, May 21, 2022

Prosecution in 1MDB trial told to find other witnesses as ex-CFO calls in sick

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah asks for one of over 50 other witnesses to be called for the afternoon proceeding.

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The judge presiding over Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial today ordered the prosecution team to get other witnesses to testify as the 12th prosecution witness, who was supposed to continue testifying today, was down with a fever.

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah made the order after deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib informed the court that he had received a message from former 1MDB chief financial officer Azmi Tahir at 8.30am saying that he was unable to testify today as he was on medical leave.

Akram said he then told the witness to come to court and explain the matter to the court.

“My Lord, he came to court and his eyes were red and his body was hot,” said the prosecutor.

Questioned by Sequerah on whether the witness was running a fever, Akram replied, “Yes, but not Covid-19, although he looks weak.”

He said he had tried to call other witnesses to replace Azmi on the stand, naming Johan Idris, Wan Ahmad Shihab Wan Ismail, Ismee Ismail, Lim Poh Seng as well as Goh Gaik Kim.

“Johan is in London, Wan Ahmad Shihab has been down with diarrhea for the past three days, Ismee is under self-quarantine as he just returned from umrah, Lim is having a Covid-19 booster shot today, while Goh has to attend two company meetings.

“I asked her to cancel the meetings, but she said they are important,” said Akram.

Sequerah said he appreciated the prosecution’s attempt to call the five witnesses at the eleventh hour, but also asked for at least one of some 50 other witnesses to attend the proceeding this afternoon.

“I will stand down this proceeding until 2.30pm,” he said. “Do your best to get someone else.

“There are over 50 witnesses in the list. The trial will resume at 2.30pm.”

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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