KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial this morning over the alleged misappropriation of over RM2 billion of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds has been postponed to the afternoon after the prosecution witness who was scheduled to testify fell ill.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib informed High Court judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah that the 12th prosecution witness and 1MDB’s former chief financial officer Azmi Tahir had received a sick leave certificate.

“Unfortunately, I’ve been informed this morning at 8.30am just now that our witness has gone to the clinic and he got a medical certificate to say he cannot continue today,” he said.

Akram confirmed that the witness looked “very weak”, adding that the latter had a high temperature and his eyes looked red.

But he said he had asked Azmi to come today regardless of the medical certificate.

“He is having a fever but it’s not Covid-19. If he is Covid-19, he is under quarantine. He is under the weather,” Akram added.

As soon as he received the message, Akram said that he had tried to call five other prosecution witnesses to replace Azmi today to ensure the 1MDB trial could still go on, but said they were all unavailable to come to court today.

Akram said KPMG Malaysia’s managing partner Datuk Johan Idris is in London now and will only be available by January 29 after quarantine, while Najib’s former special officer Datuk Wan Ahmad Shihab Wan Ismail had been having diarrhoea for the past three days and cannot get up from his bed.

Former 1MDB director and the 13th prosecution witness Tan Sri Ismee Ismail meanwhile had just returned from umrah or a Muslim pilgrimage and he is now under quarantine, Akram said.

Akram said 1MDB’s former company secretary Lim Poh Seng is having his Covid-19 booster shot today and 1MDB’s former company secretary Goh Gaik Kim was also not available as it was a short notice and she is already scheduled to attend two meetings today as a company secretary.

The judge then asked the prosecution to continue to contact other prosecution witnesses on the list to see if they would be able to come to court to testify today, and said court proceedings would resume again at 2.30pm.

“It’s not your fault, it’s short notice, I appreciate your attempts to get other witnesses. I’m going to stand down until 2.30pm. You have over 50 witnesses, you do your best. I stand down to 2.30pm,” Sequerah said.

Akram indicated that most of the other prosecution witnesses’ witness statement had not been served to Najib’s lawyers yet, but the judge asked for him to continue to make attempts and to update the court at 2.30pm or earlier.

Azmi had also told the High Court that he was feeling “under the weather” during cross-examination in the afternoon by Najib’s lawyer Datuk Hariharan Tara Singh yesterday.

The 1MDB trial had gone on for more than 80 days yesterday. It was also the fourth day that Azmi was in the witness stand.

Apart from today, Najib’s 1MDB trial is also scheduled to proceed on January 26 and January 27, as Najib is expected to appear as a defence witness to testify in his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s defence in her corruption trial of alleged soliciting and receiving of millions of ringgit in bribes.

Trial dates for Najib’s 1MDB trial have also been scheduled to take place every month from March to December this year, except for July.