KUALA LUMPUR: It was the third time in as many months that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was in court as the accused, but it was still by far the event of the day, drawing dozens of people to the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex.
He was not quite in a jovial mood when he arrived to face multiple graft charges relating to the controversial RM2.3bil donation, but that quickly changed as he made his way through the crowd.
He was brought to court in a black Honda Stream at 1.48pm. Clad in a dark navy suit, a sombre-looking Najib was accompanied by about 20 policemen and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers.
None of his family members were seen at the court complex.
By the time press photographers and videographers began capturing his arrival, he was already smiling for the cameras.
Some of the reporters and cameramen had arrived at the premises as early as 11am.
Court officials and police earlier issued 98 journalists with passes, which allowed them to enter the courtroom where the charges were read to Najib.
Others without passes had to stay in the lobby or wait outside the court complex.
Meanwhile, about 20 supporters of Najib, including Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Pemantau Baharu Malaysia (PMB) president Datuk Lokman Noor Adam and actress Ellie Suriaty Omar arrived at the court complex at 2pm.
However, they were initially prevented from entering the compound by 10 Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel and 10 police officers.
It was a chaotic scene as the agitated supporters, chanting “Hidup Najib”, protested the decision to stop them.
After negotiating with the police for 30 minutes, the supporters were finally allowed in on the condition that they would not cause any trouble.
Lokman, who spoke to reporters later, said PMB would hand over a memorandum at the Istana Negara on Sept 26 to urge the Ruler’s Conference to intervene in Najib’s trial.
Lokman claimed the authorities had misused the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (Amla) 2001 in prosecuting the former prime minister.
“We urge the Ruler’s Conference to intervene in the abuse of Amla because this Act is being used to scare and threaten (people),” he said.
Did you find this article insightful?