Judge in Najib’s 1MDB trial directs witness to go for Covid-19 swab test

Former 1MDB chief executive officer, Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court January 7, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Former 1MDB chief executive officer, Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court January 7, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — The High Court has instructed a witness in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption trial to undergo a Covid-19 swab test.

The 10th prosecution witness, former 1MDB chief executive Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman, was not present in court today. He had testified in court for the past two days in this trial.

In brief court proceedings at 9.45am, deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P Kunyalam informed the court that Hazem could not testify today as he was ill with fever symptoms.

High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah then asked for the prosecution to call in another witness to testify and for the trial to go on with the other witness, while also directing Hazem to undergo Covid-19 screening.

“Please inform him to go for a swab test and please use all the resources at your disposal to ensure another witness is present,” the judge said, asking for the next witness to be ready by 11am.

Mustaffa said the prosecution would need more time to have the next witness present in court as the witness was over 70 years’ old, with the judge then setting the trial to start at 1pm.

Later, Mustaffa told reporters that the next witness would be former Cabinet deputy chief secretary Tan Sri Mazidah Abdul Majid.

Hazem first took the witness stand in September 2020 in the 1MDB trial and has been testifying for about seven days, with Najib’s lawyers still cross-examining him.

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