High Court dismisses Najib's application to strike out charges, trial to go on

  • Nation
  • Monday, 29 Apr 2019

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, walks in a courtroom at Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, April 29, 2019. Najib, his former deputy and several high-ranking former officials have already been charged with corruption after the election ushered in the first change of power since Malaysia's independence from Britain in 1957. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has dismissed Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s application to strike out the charges in his corruption trial.

Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ruled that the charges against the former premier were not structured in a way that could mislead or prejudice him, to the point he could not put up a proper defence.

"For the following broad reasons, this application is denied," he said.

Last Friday, Najib's defence lawyers argued that the charges could prejudice the case as they lacked clarity and clashed with each other.

The former Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden said that the charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) lacked clarity, failing to specify which of the five possible types of CBT were alleged to be committed.

Defence lawyer Datuk Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin added the charges of corruption were at odds with each other and could not be tried concurrently with CBT.

Referring to the RM42mil at the heart of Najib's charges, Kamarul Hisham said the money could not be both gratification and money obtained via a breach of trust.

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram replied that the charges were not vague, as it should be read together with supplementary documents furnished by the prosecution as per Section 51A of Criminal Procedure Code.

He added that Parliament created specific laws for different crimes, so it was fair bring charges under each law.

On July 4, last year, Najib claimed trial to a charge of abuse of power and three counts of CBT linked to the 1MDB scandal.

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.

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