Najib fails in final appeal to postpone 1MDB trial
0 month ago, 13-Aug-2019
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak – File photo
PUTRAJAYA: Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak failed in his final appeal at the Federal Court here today to postpone his 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial scheduled for Aug 19.
The five-memberbench led by Chief Justice (CJ) Datuk Seri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, in a unanimous decisiondismissed Najib’s appeal.
“On whether the trial judge hadexercised his discretion correctly under Section 259 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC),we agree with the Court of Appeal that there is no error. There is no reason for us to intervene,” she said.
Tengku Maimun said the court didnot think it right or necessary for the Federal Court to impose directions on the trial judge on the way he conducted the trial, adding that parties in the case wereat liberty to make the necessary application for directions before the High Court judge.
Meanwhile, the CJstruck out the prosecution’s appeal to postpone Najib’s 1MDB trial, also known as Tanore trial after Attorney-General (A-G) Tommy Thomas informed the court that the prosecution was withdrawing its appeal asit served no practical purposes.
The other presiding judges were newly-appointed Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Seri David Wong Dak Wah and Federal Court judges Datuk Rohana Yusuf and Tan Sri Idrus Harun.
Thomas also informed the court that the prosecution would be able to serve the witnessesstatements onthe defencein the 1MDB casethis afternoon.
He said the 1MDB trial could only begin on Aug 28, that is, 14 days after the witnesses statements had beengiven to the defence as required under Section 402B of the CPC.
Earlier, the A-G told the court that the prosecution was withdrawing its appeal to postpone the1MDB trial date (Aug 19).
He updated the court that the prosecution was at the tail endof its case against Najib in the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial and confident of closing on the last date, Aug 16, allotted by High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.
“Even if prosecution cannot close on Aug 16, the spillover the following week will only be for a few days,” said Thomas.
He said the prosecution hadno objection for High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerahto commencethe Tanore trial provided it was done after the prosecution had closed its case in the SRC trial.
Meanwhile, Najibs counselTan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah submitted that his clientwould not get a fair trial if the 1MDB and SRC cases were to proceed simultaneously.
He said Najib has the same defence team for thecasesand parties would not be able to complete the SRC trial by Friday.
According to him, both the prosecution and defence would need about a month to prepare their submissions at the end of the prosecution’s case for the SRC trial.
On Aug 5, the appellate court affirmed the High Court’s decision that Najib’s 1Malaysia 1MDB trial for alleged corruption and money-laundering shouldproceedas scheduled on Aug 19.
The prosecution had applied at the High Court for the trial to be postponed pending disposal of Najibs SRC International Sdn Bhd case.
Najib, 66, is facing four counts under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act and 21 counts of money laundering involving 1MDB fundsamounting to RM2.28 billion.
The Pekan member of parliament is alleged to have committed the offences at AmIslamic Bank Bhd, No 55, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Ceylon, between 2011 and 2014.
As for the ongoing SRC trial, Najib is facing seven charges, of which three are for criminal breach of trust, one for abuse of power and three for money laundering involving SRC funds totalling RM42 million. – Bernama