Prosecutors make another bid to delay Najib’s 1MDB trial

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is seen at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex July 10, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is seen at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex July 10, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Public prosecutors made another stab today to postpone the start of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption trial until his ongoing case over the misappropriation of RM42 million from SRC International is over.

Malay Mail sighted court documents filed today in which deputy public prosecutor Budiman Lutfi Mohamed expressed his doubt that the SRC International case will end by August 15, despite the fluid and dynamic circumstances of the ongoing trial.

“The SRC trial commenced on April 3 and is scheduled to continue until August 15 before YA Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali. To date, the prosecution has called 44 witnesses.

“At this stage of the SRC trial, the prosecution intends to call about 20 more witnesses. However it is clear that for purposes of trial planning, it is highly unlikely that the trial will be complete by the last allotted date for trial,” the affidavit on the notice of the motion for postponement read.

Budiman is currently assigned as part of the prosecution team in Najib’s ongoing SRC trial.

In his affidavit, Budiman said that it would be in the best interest of all parties, including witnesses subpoenaed to attend the SRC trial, that the trial continues without any more adjournments.

“It is in the public interest that cases involving the former prime minister be disposed of expeditiously.

“It would be against public interest and prejudicial to the defence of the accused to have multiple trials involving him proceed on a part-heard basis as this would result in an unnecessary delay in all the trials,” he said.

He added that these reasons constitute a “reasonable cause” within the meaning of Section 259 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Najib is currently being tried for seven money laundering and criminal breach of trust charges over RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1MDB.

His SRC International trial, which continues today, is scheduled to run until August 15.

On July 8, the High Court had ruled that Najib will be tried for corruption over 1MDB on August 19, whether his ongoing SRC International trial is still continuing or has ended by then.

High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah made the ruling after prosecutors sought for the third time to start Najib’s main 1MDB trial, also known as the Tanore trial only after the conclusion of the SRC International case.

Sequerah had previously set August 19 to 29; throughout September and October except for Fridays; and the first two weeks in November, for Najib’s 1MDB trial.

According to the courts’ e-filing system, the motion has been fixed for hearing in front of Sequerah at the High Court on July 18.

Budiman also indicated that Mohd Nazlan, who is hearing the SRC International case, has no objection to continuing with the case on the dates scheduled for the 1MDB case, provided that Sequerah postpone its commencement.

The notice also states that the Attorney-General’s Chambers was willing to bring forward any other case not involving Najib before Sequerah to fill the dates vacated for the 1MDB trial.

“Any postponement (of the 1MDB trial) will not be indefinite. It would only be until the SRC trial is completed before the High Court with the giving of the judgement,” Budiman said.

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