KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 ― The High Court has postponed to next week the decision it was supposed to deliver today on Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s application to strike out his abuse charge stemming from his alleged role in tampering with the 2016 audit report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustafa P. Kunyalam confirmed with Malay Mail that the court adjourned today’s hearing and will deliver the decision on an unspecified day next week.
He did not provide a reason for the adjournment but said it was relayed to the prosecution team during a case management before High Court deputy registrar Catherine Nicholas this morning.
The trial before High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan is scheduled to take place from August 10 to August 13.
Zaini was scheduled to deliver his decision today after hearing submissions from Najib’s lawyer, Tan Sri Mohamad Shafee Abdullah and senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram on July 23.
On July 23, Shafee contended that the current amended charge against Najib was misleading on the grounds that the words employed are confusing and the evidence by key prosecution witnesses, namely Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, Nor Salwani Muhammad and Saadatul Nafisah for the National Audit Department (NAD), does not support facts alluded in the charge.
Shafee maintained that Najib committed no wrongdoing as the report in question that is prepared by the auditor-general (A-G) and the NAD was merely a draft and yet to be finalised prior to the February 24, 2016 meeting at the then chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa’s office along with other stakeholders.
Shafee then cited the witness statements of former A-G Ambrin where the latter said the audit for 1MDB had started in March 2015 and was due to end in March 2016.
Shafee also stated that the prosecution could be seen to have abused the process of the courts by allegedly charging Najib without credible grounds.
Sri Ram then argued that the points raised by Shafee were irrelevant as they have yet to adduce further evidence to the court, in support of the charges, as the application by Najib was filed before the completion of the prosecution stage, where more witnesses are due to take the stand.
Sri Ram also stated that the prosecution is clear in their position in pursuing criminal charges against Najib and had acted in accordance with due process.