Najib’s SRC case to proceed during Ramadan; 1MDB case may be delayed

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s SRC International trial will continue through Ramadan, though his 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) case may be postponed.

Attorney General Tommy Thomas requested that in view of the Muslim fasting month starting next Monday (May 6), the trial ends earlier in the day at 3pm.

He also informed the High Court that the prosecution will push to have Najib's 1MDB trial heard later in the year, to give his current SRC International trial time to be completed without overlapping.

"Our preference is for this trial to be completed before anything else starts, and that would mean getting more dates. It is highly unsatisfactory to have two or three trials ongoing," he said.

He added that the AG's office has prepared a letter to the High Court judge hearing the 1MDB case, Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah, which will be addressed on Tuesday (April 30).

Justice Sequerah originally set May 14 to start the trial in which Najib faces 25 corruption and money laundering charges involving RM2.28bil in funds linked to 1MDB.

Defence lawyer Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah did not object to either request, but suggested a quick break at lunch, so those at court could rest and those not fasting have a chance to "grab a bite or a sandwich".

He poked fun at the AG, saying it was funny that the prosecution had come around to his thinking, as the defence had earlier requested that there be more time to complete the SRC trial before starting on the 1MDB matter.

Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali allowed the application for earlier break, deciding the trial would run from 9am to 3.30pm, with a half-hour break for lunch.

He said the application to postpone the 1MDB trial would have to be settled before Justice Sequerah, as it was not his place to set another judge's timetable.

In early April, Justice Collin set 14 days to hear the case: May 14, 15 and 17; May 28, 29, and 31; June 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; as well as June 18, 20 and 21.

Najib was charged with four counts as a public officer, namely prime minister, finance minister and 1MDB chairman, of using his position to attain gratification for himself.

In the first charge, he was alleged to have used his position to receive RM60,629,839.43 in gratification at AmIslamic Bank Bhd, Jalan Raja Chulan here, between Feb 24, 2011, and June 14, 2011.

On the second accusation, Najib was charged with using his position to obtain RM90,899,927.28 in the same place between Oct 31, 2012, and Nov 20, 2012, while in the third and fourth charges, he was alleged to have used his position to attain bribes worth RM2,081,476,926 and RM49,930,985.70.

The Pekan MP also faces 21 allegations of money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds from Unlawful Activities Act 2001, involving 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28bil.

Meanwhile, in the SRC International case, Najib faces trial to a charge of abuse of power and three counts of criminal breach of trust, plus three counts of money laundering involving RM42mil.


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