1MDB charges against Najib are 'all wrong', says lawyer Shafee

KUALA LUMPUR: The defence of Datuk Seri Najib Razak has called out the "duplicity" in the former prime minister's graft charges in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial, saying that the charges were "all wrong".

Lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said the 25 charges on abuse of power and money laundering involving RM2.28bil from 1MDB's funds would be taking the better part of the defence's submissions at the end of the prosecution's case.

"I don't want us to be accused of not raising this. The subject matter on all the charges will be a huge part of our submissions, that the charges are all wrong, duplicitous and multiplicitous," Muhammad Shafee told the High Court here on Tuesday (April 23).

The matter was raised during the cross-examination of senior officer Nur Aida Arifin from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) conducted by co-counsel Wan Azwan Aiman.

Wan Azwan said the defence was trying to establish whether Nur Aida, the investigating officer on the 1MDB case, had indeed investigated the four elements in the charge.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib however objected to the defence's line of questioning, saying that this particular part of the charge Najib was facing was in line with Section 23(2) of the MACC Act, where there is a presumption that Najib had abused his power.

Section 23(2) stated that an officer of a public body shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, to use his office or position for any gratification, whether for himself, his relative or associate, when he makes any decision, or takes any action, in relation to any matter in which such an officer, or any relative or associate of his, has an interest, whether directly or indirectly.

DPP Ahmad Akram also said that these matters should be taken up during submissions as the IO would not be able to answer the questions.

Presiding judge Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah then told parties to take the matter up at submissions.

He reminded everyone that it was up to the court to make a determination whether the prosecution had proven elements of the charge and not the IO.

"The determination whether or not this has been proven, it has been said time and again, is my call. I'm supposed to make the decision whether these elements have been proven or not," Justice Sequerah said.

Najib, 70, is on trial for 25 charges in total - four for abuse of power that allegedly brought him the financial benefit to the tune of RM2.28bil; and 21 for money laundering involving the same amount of money.

The hearing continues on Wednesday (April 24).

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Najib Razak , 1MDB , duplicity , High Court


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