Najib’s 1MDB trial cut short for lawyer to discuss own case

Date:

KUALA LUMPUR: The 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial involving Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the High Court here was cut short today on an application by the defence, as the former prime minister’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah needed to meet his lawyer over his money laundering trial which is scheduled to begin tomorrow. 

The 69-year-old lawyer is facing two counts of money laundering charges involving RM9.5 million he allegedly received from Najib and two charges of making false statements to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB). 

His trial will commence today before High Court Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin at 9am.

Yesterday’s proceedings started at 11 am as Najib and his legal team went to a forfeiture case before Justice Muhammad Jamil.

When the proceedings resumed before High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah, Muhammad Shafee stood up and requested the court to finish the trial at 2 pm as he needs to meet up and discuss with his lawyer over his money-laundering case. 

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib did not object to Muhammad Shafee’s application, and Justice Sequerah ordered the trial to stop at 2.45 pm. 

Najib’s other counsel Wan Aizuddin Wan Muhammed then continued to cross-examine the 10th prosecution witness, Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman, 49, a former 1MDB CEO.

Mohd Hazem agreed to a question posed by the lawyer that fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low had a habit of undertaking financial decisions with documents that were not properly executed.

Wan Aizuddin: It appears that money from the bond raised by 1MDB was going everywhere, and it went into the companies that were under the control of Jho Low.

Mohd Hazem: Yes.

Wan Aizuddin: Jho Low was using the money from the raised bond as if it was his own money. Do you agree that Jho Low also had a habit of submitting “copy and paste” documents to the bank? 

Mohd Hazem: Yes.

Mohd Hazem, however, disagreed to a suggestion by the lawyer that the reason he was being ambiguous over Jho Low’s actions utilising the money from the bond is because he was protecting the latter.

Najib, 67, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount. 

The trial continues on Monday. – Bernama

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