KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption trial was postponed again today after his lead counsel was forced to quarantine for being a Covid-19 close contact, Malaysiakini reported.
The news site quoted one of Najib’s lawyers, Nur Syahirah Hanapiah, who explained that proceedings initially scheduled for today and tomorrow were vacated after lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was forced to undergo quarantine and unable to attend the trial.
“He (Shafee) got in close contact with a positive person on July 3.
“We will resume again on August 17,” Nur Syahirah was quoted saying in the report.
The 1MDB case has been on trial since August 2019, with numerous postponements since it began proceedings before High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.
These delays have been caused either by Najib’s political engagements, his other court trials, health or accidental incidents, Covid-19 restrictions, or as today when a witness, an important member of the legal team, or Najib himself has been forced to quarantine for being a Covid-19 close contact.
In May this year, Najib’s trial was postponed when he was given sick leave after undergoing eye surgery, and previously in February when witness and former 1MDB CEO Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman was forced to quarantine.
In this trial, Najib’s is accused of four counts of power abuse and 21 counts of money laundering charges in relation to more than RM2 billion allegedly laundered from 1MDB funds.