KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been hospitalised, his lawyer told the High Court here this morning, pulling the brakes on the former prime minister's ongoing trial for the misappropriation of RM2.28 billion of 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) funds.

"Datuk Seri Najib has been taken ill, he is currently warded in the General Hospital Kuala Lumpur," Najib's lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told High Court judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

The lawyer added that his client would not be able to attend court today and maybe tomorrow.

"As of this morning, I'm told, Yang Arif, at 7.30am in the morning as well as at 9.30am just now, that the likelihood of certain tests being proceeded on him would take a few more days but they have not said exactly the number of days. Definitely today is off, Yang Arif. Definitely he cannot come, and I think certainly tomorrow as well.

"Because there are issues with his health, because he seems to have exhibited fluctuating blood pressure, so the cause for it has not been detected so they are doing their very best," Shafee said.

He added that Najib will be transferred to the National Heart Institute (IJN) later.

"There is a possibility, in fact a certainty, there's going to be a transfer from GHKL to IJN," he said.

Najib's 1MDB trial was initially scheduled to take place from Monday to Thursday this week. AmIslamic bank's Jalan Raja Chulan branch manager R. Uma Devi has been testifying as the 37th prosecution witness regarding money that flowed in and out of Najib's previous personal bank account with the account number ending 9694, and was initially expected to continue testifying today.

The judge instructed the prosecution and defence to return to court tomorrow afternoon to reassess the situation.

Shafee had confirmed to the judge that no medical certificate has been issued for Najib but said he would obtain such a document if required by the judge, noting that his client has been warded since yesterday. Medical certificates are typically issued to certify that an individual is ill and needs to have a sick leave.

Shafee also asked the judge that it be made clear that he, as counsel, would have to get instructions from Najib who is being hospitalised.

"For me to get clear instruction, I will presume and it is in fact excellent if Yang Arif can confirm that I should get instructions from him directly, because the problem when someone like Datuk Seri Najib goes from prison to hospital facility, no one is allowed to visit him, but the right of counsel to get instruction cannot be impeded.

"I got to mention that because I got to report to Your Lordship directly from Datuk Seri Najib what is his condition, and of course I will speak to the doctors if they entertain me, but certainly I will have to take instructions from Datuk Seri Najib," he said, adding that he was not asking for the judge to make a court order but to note that he is required to get instructions from his client.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam said the prosecution has no issue with Shafee's request, with the judge then saying: "We leave it as it is, and meet here again at 2.30pm tomorrow."

Shafee told reporters later that Najib has been warded since 1.30pm yesterday, and also confirmed that Najib would be transferred to IJN today.

Najib is currently serving his 12-year jail sentence for stealing RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former 1MDB subsidiary.

Today marks his 22nd day after the Federal Court upheld his conviction and sentence and sent him to jail on August 23.

However, he is still attending trial for two other criminal cases though he has been making intermittent trips to the hospital. Apart from these two ongoing trials, he is facing two other criminal cases that have yet to go on trial.

On September 4, Najib was admitted to HKL for the day to undergo health checks. He then appeared the next day in court for his 1MDB trial.

Yesterday, the Health Ministry disclosed that Najib had been admitted to HKL again on September 9 for an elective procedure to ensure his health would be at optimum levels.

The ministry said the type of medication prescribed to Najib while he was warded was the same type as what he had been using.

The ministry also said the 69-year-old was in good health before he was discharged from the hospital.

Apart from providing clarification regarding Najib's previous admission on September 9 and his subsequent discharge, the Health Ministry did not provide any other updates on his status.

Najib's 1MDB trial yesterday was cut short after the court was informed in the morning that he was having adverse effects due to a change in his hypertension medication. The afternoon trial session was then called off.