Former prime minister Najib Razak's appeal hearing today for bank documents involving US investment bank Goldman Sachs and former Bank Negara (BNM) governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz's family was postponed as his senior counsel was unwell.
A three-member Court of Appeal panel comprising justices P Ravinthran, Abu Bakar Jais and Hashim Hamzah granted the adjournment requested by Effa Azuin Aidrul Hisham, who is one of the lawyers on Najib’s defence team.
Ravinthran, who led the panel, also directed that case management be held tomorrow to fix an early appeal hearing date.
The court also allowed Effa Azuin's application to exempt Najib from attending today's court proceedings which was conducted online on Zoom.
Effa Azuin had informed the court that senior counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was down with a fever.
She said Shafee had felt unwell this morning and had gone to a clinic where he obtained a medical certificate.
Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib, who appeared for the prosecution together with Mohamad Mustafa P Kunyalam, did not object to the postponenment but left it to the court to decide on the request to dispense with Najib's attendance today.
Najib is seeking to obtain bank documents for use in his trial on the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion in funds from 1MDB.
He is appealing against the decision of the High Court on July 12 last year dismissing two of his discovery applications to compel the prosecution in his 1MDB trial to disclose banking documents linked to Zeti's family regarding claims that her family received money from fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low.
Najib filed a court order on March 24 last year to compel the prosecution to provide several banking statements from companies, including Aktis Capital Singapore Pte Ltd, Country Group Securities Public Company Ltd, ACME Time Ltd (BVI), Butamba Investments Ltd, and Central Holdings Ltd, believed to be related to Jho Low and Zeti’s family in his 1MDB case.
The Pekan MP also filed a second application on April 7 last year, seeking to obtain the confidential settlement agreement between the government and the Goldman Sachs Group in 2020, and the transcripts or forensic report of the phones of former Goldman Sachs Asia partner, Tim Leissner.
Najib is on trial for 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.
The trial is ongoing in the High Court before justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah.
In today's proceedings, Sofea Shereen Mohamed Salim appeared as the watching brief counsel for Zeti and her husband.