PUTRAJAYA: Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s appeal hearing to get banking documents involving the United States investment bank Goldman Sachs and former Bank Negara (BNM) governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s family was postponed today as his senior counsel is unwell.

A three-member Court of Appeal panel comprising Justices Datuk P. Ravinthran, Datuk Abu Bakar Jais and Datuk Hashim Hamzah granted the adjournment requested by Effa Azuin Aidrul Hisham who is one of the lawyers in Najib’s defence team.

Justice Ravinthran, who led the panel, directed that a case management to be held tomorrow to fix for 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 via Zoom.

Effa Azuin had informed the court that senior counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is down with a fever caught from staff at his law firm.

She said Muhammad Shafee was feeling unwell this morning and had gone to a clinic and he obtained a medical certificate. She requested the court for a short adjournment of the hearing of the appeal.

Effa Azuin also asked the court to exempt Najib’s presence in today’s court proceedings.

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 pertaining to the request to dispense Najib’s attendance in the court proceedings today.

Najib is seeking to obtain banking documents for use in his trial involving misappropriation of RM2.3 billion funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd ( 1MDB).

He is appealing against the decision of the High Court on July 12, last year in dismissing two of his discovery applications to compel the prosecution in his IMDB trial to disclose banking documents linked to Zeti’s family on claims that her family allegedly received monies from fugitive financier 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 Member of Parliament 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 entered in 2020 and transcripts or forensic report on the phones of former Goldman Sachs partner in Asia, Tim Leissner.

Najib is on trial on 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 Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

In today’s proceedings, Sofea Shereen Mohamed Salim appeared as watching brief counsel for Zeti and her husband. - Bernama