Najib’s 1MDB trial postponed to next Monday

19 Aug 2019 / 10:58 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The much-awaited high-profile trial of Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak who is facing four charges of having used his positions to obtain gratification totalling RM2.3 billion in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same money, has been postponed to next Monday.

High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah adjourned Najib’s 1MDB trial, also dubbed the 1MDB-Tanore trial, which was scheduled to begin today after allowing the application by former Federal Court Judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram who was appointed as senior deputy public prosecutor to postpone the trial as the prosecution had just served 15 bundles of documents and witness statements to the defence.

Sri Ram said it was also to give way to SRC International Sdn Bhd trial to be completed first.

The prosecution in SRC’s trial has almost wrapped up its case with the last prosecution witness yet to conclude his testimony before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

Najib, 66, is facing three counts of criminal breach of trust, one count of abusing his position and three counts of money laundering involving SRC International Sdn Bhd funds amounting to RM42 million.

Previously, Justice Sequerah has set Aug 19 to 29; the month of September and October except for Fridays; and the first two weeks of November for Najib’s 1MDB trial.

The prosecution had applied for the trial to be postponed for the fourth time to make way for Najib’s SRC trial.

On July 18, Justice Sequerah dismissed the public prosecutor’s notice of motion to adjourn the trial.

On July 8, Justice Sequerah rejected Attorney-General Tommy Thomas’ verbal request to postpone the 1MDB case scheduled for Aug 19 until the SRC case had been completed.

On April 30, the prosecution filed its first motion to postpone the 1MDB trial which had been fixed for 14 days from April 15 until May 3. The judge granted the application and rescheduled the case to May 14 until June 21.

On May 2, the prosecution sought another postponement via oral application. The court allowed the postponement and rescheduled the trial to Aug 19.

On Sept 20, 2018, Najib was charged at the sessions court here on four charges of having used his positions to obtain gratification totalling RM2.3 billion in 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same money.

Najib who was represented by a team of lawyers led by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah pleaded not guilty to all 25 charges and later the case was transferred to the High Court.

On the four corruption charges, Najib was alleged to have committed the offences at the Jalan Raja Chulan branch of AmIslamic Bank Berhad, at No. 55, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Ceylon here between Feb 24, 2011, and Dec 19, 2014, under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act and is punishable under Section 24 (1) of the same law.

He faces imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of up to five times the sum or value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher if found guilty.

For the 21 money laundering charges, Najib was alleged to have committed the offences at the same bank between March 22, 2013, and Aug 30, 2013.

All the charges were made according to Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act (AMLATFA), which carries a maximum fine of RM5 million and jail term of five years, or both if convicted. — Bernama

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