Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court has been vacated today and tomorrow as the former prime minister is on medical leave for two days following his admission to Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) yesterday.
Najib's counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah that his client had been undergoing various medical tests at the hospital on a daily basis due to his blood pressure and stomach ulcer condition.
"I finally got to meet my client after waiting at the hospital for almost three hours today, although he himself does not know how long he is going to be in the ward.
"There is a medical certificate (MC) provided by the prison department that was sent to Muhammad Farhan (Najib’s other lawyer) by WhatsApp. It is based on a medical examination. The MC is for Sept 14 and 15 and it mentions that Najib is in ward 21 at the hospital," he said.
The lawyer said Najib’s blood pressure started coming down after he began taking his usual medicine although it was not yet at normal levels.
"Testing is being done for his blood pressure. I must also inform Yang Arif that my client has a history of very bad ulcer and didn’t realise three months ago he was at a critical stage.
"Recently as Yang Arif knows, he went to the hospital because he complained of discomfort and they found numerous ulcers that were bleeding.
"I think for that reason, he was being tested to ensure that his blood pressure has got nothing do with that, but perhaps it was a mere contingency of the medicine," Shafee said.
Sequerah asked if Najib would be better by next week, as the 1MDB trial is scheduled to resume on Sept 26, and vacated this week’s trial since there was no possibility for the trial to commence tomorrow.
Shafee said he believed Najib should be better by then, just in time for the scheduled trial dates.
Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said the prosecution had no objection to this week’s trial being vacated as the MC came from a government medical officer.
When met by reporters after the proceeding, Shafee said Najib was "not his cheerful self" and was still experiencing discomfort due to his condition.
"The doctors have restored his medicine to the original one (which Najib usually takes). The previous medicine and the amount was given in the correct dosage, but the one he is used to is the original one and not from a generic brand.
"Contrary to what was said in the news, the generic (medicine) might not be as effective as the original," he said, adding that Najib’s current blood pressure reading at the hospital was 124 over 84, compared to his usual reading of 110 over 80.
When asked about Najib’s admission to the National Heart Institute (IJN), Shafee said there was no indication so far of his client's transfer to the specialist hospital.
"He has no medical condition relating to his heart per se, but because it (the stomach ulcers) causes bleeding, it can really go into a heart issue which can lead to a stroke," he said.
Najib, 69, 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.
On Aug 23 this year, he was sent to Kajang Prison after the Federal Court upheld his conviction, 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine for misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International funds.