Over 50 to testify in Najib CBT case

KUALA LUMPUR: Over 50 witnesses will be called to testify in the RM6.6bil criminal breach of trust (CBT) case involving former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.

The case has been transferred from High Court 3, where Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali presided, to High Court 4 due to administration matters.

Deputy public prosecutor Saiful Hazmi Mohd Saad told Justice Muhammad Jamil Hussin of High Court 4 that the prosecution received a letter dated Oct 7 on the transfer from the High Court deputy registrar.

The court allowed an application by Najib’s lawyer Nur Syahirah Hanapiah to vacate the hearing dates from this year to next year as the case overlapped with Najib’s other 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-linked trials.

“My client is currently facing two trials before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah and Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.

“This case is expected to begin on Nov 9 but the other trials have been fixed until June 2021,” she said.

Justice Jamil allowed the application to give way for the other trials.

He then fixed 32 days for daily hearing in September and October 2021 with the exception of Fridays and public holidays.

The court also set Jan 6 next year for case management.

Najib’s presence was exempted from yesterday’s proceedings as he is still under a 14-day home quarantine after returning from Sabah.

Irwan, however, was present at court. He was represented by lawyer Datuk K. Kumaraendran.

When met later, DPP Saiful Hazmi said the witnesses for the CBT case involved almost the same witnesses from the previous 1MDB trial.

On Oct 25, 2018, Najib and Irwan were jointly charged with six counts of CBT over government funds, totalling RM6.6bil.

According to the first two charges, Najib and Irwan were entrusted with dominion over RM1.2bil and RM655mil, respectively, and both were alleged to have committed CBT.

The third CBT charge, involving a sum of RM220mil, was allocated for administration expenses for the KLIA.

The money had been in the government’s Federal Consolidated Fund.

The RM1.3bil in the fourth charge was in the same fund and classified as an allocation for subsidy and cash aid.

The fifth and sixth CBT charges were for over 1.95 billion yuan (RM1.261bil) and RM2bil.

All the offences were allegedly committed at the Finance Ministry office in Putrajaya, between Dec 21, 2016, and Dec 18, 2017.

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