Judge sets Najib’s bail at RM3.5m after lawyer asked for only RM500,000

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the KL High Court September 20, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the KL High Court September 20, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been granted bail today after claiming trial to 21 counts of money laundering and a separate four counts of power abuse over nearly RM2.3 billion allegedly from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Session’s Court judge Azura Alwi set the bail at RM3.5 million with two sureties.

Earlier, lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had argued for bail to be fixed at a maximum of RM500,000.

The prosecution had sought for either a refusal of bail as the charges against Najib involved “non-bailable offences” where bail is not automatically granted as of right, or for a RM5 million bail with additional conditions to restrict Najib’s public appearances and statements.

But the Sessions Court finally decided on the RM3.5 million amount, with Najib’s son Nizar and Mohd Shahrir Arifin to act as his sureties or guarantors.

Following Shafee’s request for the bail amount to be paid in instalments, the Sessions Court also allowed for the bail to be paid in such a manner and ordering it to be settled in full by September 28.

The Sessions Court also allowed Najib to be released today, with Shafee saying that his client will pay RM1 million tomorrow and RM500,000 daily to clear the RM3.5 million bail amount.

Najib’s cases today will come up for mention on November 16. Shafee told reporters that he will apply for his client’s cases to be transferred to the High Court to be heard there.

This is not the first time that Najib has been allowed to post bail in instalments.

Najib previously posted RM1 million bail split across two payments when he was charged in July with criminal breach of trust and power abuse.

After claiming trial last month to additional money-laundering offences, Najib was allowed out through the extension of the same bail amount of RM1 million and did not have to pay additional bail.

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