Najib’s trial set for Wednesday

KUALA LUMPUR: The high-profile trial of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak involving RM42mil in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds is scheduled to start next Wednesday.

High Court judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali set the one-day date during a case mention here yesterday following the Federal Court’s ruling that set aside the Court of Appeal’s decision, which allowed a stay on the trial.

The High Court only fixed one day for the trial, which is set to start at 2pm.

Further dates have not been fixed.

Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim informed the court that the Federal Court had lifted the stay of proceedings order granted by the Court of Appeal to Najib to temporarily stall the trial pending disposal of his appeals over his interlocutory matters.

On Wednesday, the seven-man panel chaired by Chief Justice Richard Malanjum unanimously set aside the appellate court’s decision on grounds that it did not have the jurisdiction to do so.

“Therefore, we ask for the trial to start on April 3. We are ready to start the trial and we have submitted documents in the case,” Suhaimi said here yesterday.

Lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, who repre­sented Najib, said the defence was agreeable for trial dates to be fixed between May and August as the team was involved with other court matters throughout April.

“I don’t see a need to start the trial for only one day,” he said.

The judge replied that arrangements could be made as it was a public interest case.

He then fixed the date.

The trial, which has been dubbed as the “SRC International” trial by the local media, was initially fixed for an 11-day hearing which was supposed to start on Feb 12 but was postponed twice.

Najib is facing seven charges involving RM42mil in funds belonging to SRC Inter­national Sdn Bhd.

On July 4 last year, the 66-year-old Pekan MP claimed trial to a charge of abuse of power and three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) linked to the 1Malaysia Develop­ment Berhad (1MDB) scandal. He allegedly misappropriated RM42mil in funds belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd, a unit of 1MDB.

On Aug 8, he appeared in court again for the second time and was charged with three counts of money laundering involving the same RM42mil.

The seven charges are slated to be the first set of charges to be tried in court out of the 42 charges levelled against him.

At a separate High Court, the prosecution amended three charges in Najib’s other case relating to 1MDB involving RM2.28bil.

Najib pleaded not guilty after the amended charges were read out to him before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

The court fixed April 1 for case management.

Najib Razak , court , SRC International