PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has affirmed the High Court’s decision that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial for alleged corruption and money laundering start as scheduled on Aug 19.
In a unanimous decision,a three-member bench comprising Justices Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli,Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof and Datuk Hasnah Mohammed Hashim dismissed both appeals filed by the prosecution and the defence yesterday.
“This is not a fit and proper case for appellate intervention,” said Justice Abdul Rahman,who led the bench.
He said the court was not persuaded that the learned judge had exercised his discretion on a wrong principle in refusing to grant the postponement.
“The learned judge had given his reasons and we are of the view the reasons he gave were all valid reasons,” he said in affirming the High Court’s decision.
Justice Abdul Rahman added
that the judge also made it clear to the parties concerned that he was prepared to accommodate their schedule when necessary.
“On top of that,the learned judge has given parties the liberty to apply for dates to be vacated for the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial to continue,” he said.
Justice Abdul Rahman said the prosecution could not choose to institute multiple charges and choose to adjourn them and then one case ought to conclude first before another case,adding that the court cannot be utilised as a mere repository.
On July 18,High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah had dismissed the prosecution’s application to postpone the trial,which is also known as the Tanore trial.
The prosecution had applied at the High Court for the trial to be postponed for the fourth time pending disposal of Najib’s SRC International Sdn Bhd case.
Najib,66,is facing four charges under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act and 21 counts of money laundering involving 1MDB funds,amounting to RM2.28bil.
The Pekan MP is alleged to have committed the offences at AmIslamic Bank Bhd,No. 55,Jalan Raja Chulan,Bukit Ceylon in Kuala Lumpur,between 2011 and 2014.
As for the ongoing SRC trial,Najib is facing seven charges involving RM42mil of SRC funds,with three charges of criminal breach of trust,one of abuse of power and three of money laundering.
Najib’s counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informed the court that he has been given instructions to file an appeal at the Federal Court.
Meanwhile,deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Izzat Fauzan said the prosecution was also appealing against yesterday’s decision. — Bernama