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War of words erupts between Najib's lawyers and prosecution team over format of documents served


KUALA LUMPUR: What was supposed to be a case mention for Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for his SRC International related charges turned into a war of words between his lawyers and lead prosecutor, Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah.

They argued for around 50 minutes, chiefly on documents served to the defence team.

Sulaiman raised an issue that the prosecution had tried to serve the documents under Section 51A of the Criminal Procedure Code, but were unable to do so despite all efforts.

Najib's lead counsel, Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said the documents were served in a CD-Rom format and not in hard copy.

He said Najib was given a CD-Rom on Aug 8 and when Najib visited his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Putrajaya on Wednesday (Oct 3), an officer attempted to serve another CD-Rom to Najib.

"We can't read some of the documents in the CD format. Give us documents in a proper format so that it's something we can digest.

"What is so special about this case that we are given a CD format? Treat us as equal, not special. It is also standard practice for documents to be served to the counsel, not to my client," Dr Muhammad Shafee said.

Sulaiman urged Muhammad Shafee and his team to get on with the trial, stop "painting insinuations" and wasting time.

"I don't know why my learned friends are so reluctant to meet us in a pretrial conference. Maybe because there's no publicity in the meeting," Sulaiman said.

To this, Dr Muhmmad Shafee immediately stood up and said all the defence wanted were the documents.

He added that from day one, the defence had also offered to pay for the documents in a proper format.

Dr Muhammad Shafee said: "I think my learned friend is treating this as a debating class. He was a debating champion in school apparently".

Sulaiman said the prosecution will serve the documents in hard copy within two weeks, while Dr Muhammad Shafee said the defence needed only a week to study the documents.

Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali fixed case management for Najib's seven charges on Oct 31 at 3pm.

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