June 28, 2022

1MDB trial: Najib’s appearance at Tg Piai nominations sparks argument

2 min read

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The High Court in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial has held that it will not tolerate any attempt to mislead it following Najib’s attendance at the Tanjung Piai by-election nomination process despite getting a one-day medical leave from attending the trial.

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah made the reminder following an application by lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram for the court for a sanction to be imposed on the former premier.

“This court will not tolerate any attempt to mislead it. Should the need arise, the court will not hesitate to punish with contempt.

“But after listening to both parties, the court does not see the situation to impose sanctions, ” said Justice Sequerah after hearing submissions from both parties.

Earlier, Sri Ram pointed out that the prosecution had received instructions from Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas to seek for the court to impose sanctions on Najib via a way of restricting him within the Federal Territory and to report to the police station closest to his house every Saturday from 9am.

Sri Ram added that the AG sought this as it was miraculous that the eye problem disappeared a short while after last Thursday (Oct 31) and that Najib was able to go to Johor.

He said that a public outcry occurred, and the public prosecutor received a number of complaints and a police report was even lodged by someone over the issue.

“We submit the accused is using his MC (medical cert) as abuse to obtain adjournment and prolong the trial. There must be sanction on this utter contempt for court proceedings, ” Sri Ram said.

However, Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah countered that Thomas did not do proper research and merely issued the directive to the prosecution team while he (Thomas) was overseas.

Muhammad Shafee said that the MC was only for a day and that Najib was able to go to Johor as the irritation in his eyes had disappeared, but the swelling was still there.

He also challenged the person who lodged the police report to be brave enough to come before this court and lodge the complaint.

“He is obviously hiding behind someone’s skirt and made an erroneous complaint and is trying to prejudice my client, ” said Muhammad Shafee.

Last Thursday, the trial had to be adjourned due to Najib obtaining a one-day MC for an allergy that purportedly made his eyes swell with irritation and pain.

Najib, 66, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3bil from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The hearing before Justice Sequerah continues. – Bernama