Sorry, he went to the loo, says Shafee after judge notices Najib's short absence in court

  • Nation
  • Friday, 15 Mar 2019

PETALING JAYA: When nature calls, even the rule of law goes "unheeded".

This happened during the court proceeding of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who briefly went missing from the Court of Appeal on Friday (March 15).

It was later revealed that the former prime minister had gone for a toilet break without informing his lawyers.

Earlier, Justice Zabariah Mohd Yusof had noticed that Najib was not present in court during his lawyer Harvinderjit Singh's oral submissions, Malaysiakini reported.

When Harvinderjit turned around to look for Najib, he realised that Najib had left the courtroom without informing him.

Zabariah then ordered for a short adjournment of the proceedings while Harvinderjit searched for Najib.

After Najib returned, proceedings resumed and his counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah apologised to the bench.

“We apologise. Najib did not realise (he needs to inform the court before going to the washroom)," Malaysiakini reported him as saying.

Muhammad Shafee then informed the bench that he had explained to Najib the importance of informing his lawyers to indicate whether proceedings could be adjourned to allow him to use the toilet.

When met after the proceedings, Muhammad Shafee said Najib had tried to be polite when he quietly left for the washroom.

“He is not a lawyer. He thought he was being polite by going quietly to the toilet and not disturbing proceedings. He did not know he cannot leave. Not even for a minute (without asking permission),” Muhammad Shafee added.

The Court of Appeal was hearing Najib's appeals in relation to his case involving SRC International.

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