KUALA LUMPUR: A new judge has been assigned to hear the abuse of power and criminal breach of trust cases involving former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
A court source has confirmed that Justice Datuk Mohd Sofian Abd Razak will be transferred to New Civil Court (NCVC) 10 starting Aug 1.
According to the transfer order issued by the Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim seen by The Star, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali will be taking over Criminal High Court 3, replacing Justice Mohd Sofian.
Another judge, Justice Nantha Balan, will take over Justice Mohd Nazlan’s previous court in the commercial division.
When asked if Justice Mohd Nazlan would be hearing Najib’s case, the source said: “Wait for Aug 1.”
It was reported that Justice Mohd Sofian, who is presiding over Najib’s abuse of power and criminal breach of trust cases, is the younger brother of Pahang state executive councillor and Benta Umno state assemblyman Datuk Seri Mohd Soffi Abdul Razak.
Following the news report, the Malaysian Bar called for the judge to recuse himself.
Meanwhile, another source told The Star that the transfer letter was signed by the Chief Judge of Malaya earlier this week.
“I am not sure if the transfer is related to the case (Najib’s case) but I feel it is for the best that the judge is transferred.
“The judge may be hearing the case to the best of his ability without any bias but perception of bias can be grounds for recusal,” he said when contacted.