Zeti’s not the one on trial but Najib is, says prosecutor

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s application for discovery on documents linked to former Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz was a “collateral attack” on the issues raised in his RM2.28bil 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial, the High Court heard.

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, in his submission, said the application was frivolous and the documents were irrelevant to the ongoing criminal trial.

“The application is frivolous. Why is the application bad? It seeks to make a collateral attack upon the issues at the trial.

“That is not permissible under our law, ” Sri Ram said at the hearing of the application here yesterday.

He also contended that Zeti was not the one on trial, but Najib is.

“What her family had allegedly received has no relevance at all to whether the accused had abused his position.

“We have produced cogent evidence (during the trial) that money went into the accused’s account, ” he added.

Najib had filed the first of the two discovery applications on March 24 when he filed a notice of motion to compel the prosecution in the 1MDB trial to disclose banking documents linked to Zeti on claims that her family received monies from fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low.

On April 7, Najib filed the second discovery application for a confidential settlement agreement between Malaysia and Goldman Sachs Group in 2020.

On the second application relating to Goldman Sachs, Sri Ram said the documents sought by the defence were not in the prosecution’s possession.

“We have no control whatsoever (over the sought documents), ” he said.

The said items, Sri Ram added, were not relevant and did not form part of the prosecution’s case in the trial.

Earlier, Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah submitted that his client was failed by the management of 1MDB, the bank where he had his accounts (AmBank) and Bank Negara, which Muhammad Shafee described as “the last bastion” of Najib’s protection when it comes to his funds.

“There is some level of compromise, there is some level of conspiracy in this institution (Bank Negara).

“That is why the documents relating to Zeti become relevant.

“If her family members received substantial amounts of money from Low, her credibility is at stake, ” he added.

Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah then fixed July 12 to deliver his decision on both applications.

Najib is currently on trial for four counts of abuse of power and 21 counts of money laundering involving RM2.28bil of 1MDB’s funds.

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