High Court allows Najib to inspect Justo's 1MDB documents

  • Nation
  • Friday, 13 Dec 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has allowed Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak to inspect documents that whistleblower Xavier Andre Justo handed to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as part of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) investigation.

High Court judge Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah made the decision on Friday (Dec 13) after hearing submissions from both the former prime minister's counsel, Al Firdaus Shahrul Naing and Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.

"I find that there is sufficient basis that the documents are relevant to the applicant and his defence," said Justice Sequerah.

He added that it would not be a "fishing expedition" as Najib's defence team had sufficiently identified and categorised the documents they need.

"I do not find anything to substantiate that public interest might suffer from disclosure of the materials," he said.

With regards to the prosecution's argument regarding Section 124 of the Evidence Act, he said the court could review the prosecution's claim of privilege and as such, the matter was not considered conclusive.

Earlier, MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki affirmed in an affidavit supporting the prosecution's objection to the application that the documents were protected under the Act.

Justice Sequerah then asked the prosecution to provide the documents to the defence for inspection within three weeks from Friday, to which Sri Ram told the court that he would hand over the documents – over 17,000 in total – to the defence in a thumbdrive.

Justice Sequerah also fixed Jan 7 for case management.

The documents handed in by Justo to the MACC were related to 1MDB's joint venture with PetroSaudi International Ltd.

The application filed on Oct 24 was made in relation to four corruption charges faced by Najib involving RM2.3bil of 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

Najib had asked for the court to order the prosecution and other entities holding the documents to make the documents available its physical form or as retrieved from a digital storage device for the defence to inspect.

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