Najib's bid to postpone Dec 3 SRC International trial rejected

  • Nation
  • Friday, 15 Nov 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The defence's application to postpone the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial where Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic) is to enter his defence on seven charges involving the misappropriation of RM42mil has been rejected.

High Court judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said the case will go on as scheduled on Dec 3.

The judge said he had considered the background of the trial, its commencement and progress, key dates and directions given in advance.

“I find that more than ample notice and reasonable time has been given to the applicant to prepare and to re-strategise the relevant arrangement.

“The request for adjournment in my view cannot be sustained. Accordingly, I dismiss the entire application of the applicant and the trial will therefore resume on Dec 3, ” Justice Nazlan said on Friday (Nov 15).

The defence team had orally applied for a postponement of the trial during their submission in their application to seek for a list of witnesses from the prosecution.

These are the witnesses that the prosecution had not offered to the defence but who had their statements recorded.

The defence had asked for the postponement on grounds that they needed more time to prepare for the defence case.

On the matter involving the witnesses, Justice Nazlan described it as a "fishing expedition" and dismissed the application.

“Statements taken by the investigating officer under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act are privileged and not subjected to disclosure for inspection at any stage of the trial.

“I find that the test of desirability and necessity, in respect of the witnesses already offered to the defence is not satisfied because the applicant has not identified which witnesses' statements he required, and what were the roles of these witnesses and the relevance of the evidence.

“In this context, the application appears to be a fishing expedition, ” he said.

Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas and Datuk V. Sithambaram appeared for the prosecution while lawyers Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Harvinderjit Singh represented Najib.

Najib was exempted from attending today’s proceedings to attend the Tanjung Piai by-election campaign.

On Nov 11, Justice Nazlan ordered Najib to enter his defence on all seven charges in the SRC trial after ruling that the prosecution had proven a prima facie case against the former premier.

Najib is facing seven charges, of which three are for criminal breach of trust, one for abuse of power and three for money laundering involving SRC International funds totalling RM42mil.

He faces up to 20 years in prison, whipping and a fine, if convicted.

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