A Malaysian Court on Monday has deferred one of the five trials of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak over a multi-billion-dollar scam involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
High Court Collin Lawrence Sequerah, who is presiding over the case, said on Monday that the hearing will resume on August 26 and continue on August 29. This was to allow for the completion of a previous hearing involving 1MDB unit SRC International.
“If you need more time, I can stand down or adjourn … but for now we will proceed on Monday,” Sequerah said.
Earlier this year, Sequerah rejected a third postponement application filed by Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to reschedule the trial to October 1.
Najib was facing seven money laundering and criminal breach of trust charges over RM42 million in 1MDB’s former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.
He was also slapped with 25 charges of money laundering and abuse of power last September over alleged 1MDB funds in his AmBank account. Of the total, four were in violation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act while the remaining 21 charges were under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act (AMLATFA).
For the charges under the MACC Act, Najib was accused of using his former position as the prime minister, finance minister, as well as the chairman of the 1MDB advisory board to receive bribes on four occasions. He was accused of abusing position to obtain worth RM2.28 billion in bribes in February 2011 and December 2014, and for using the money that was allegedly transferred to his bank accounts.
Meanwhile, the money laundering charges included nine counts of receiving illegal proceeds, five counts of using illegal proceeds, and seven counts of transferring the proceeds to other entities.
Sequerah has previously scheduled Najib’s 1MDB trial on August 19 to 29, throughout September and October except for Fridays, and the first two weeks in November.
Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Najib’s lawyer, said that the trials involving the ex-prime minister were already robbing the lives of the involved.
“Many of us, those who play golf, golf is no more. That is not something you can enjoy anymore,” he told the media. “I go cycling. (But) my bicycle is beginning to rust. For those who go to the gym, their trainer’s fees are getting wasted.”
“Lawyers literally take their work home, which means that you work from the office or home.Sometimes you don’t sleep. In the SRC trial alone, many of us are lacking sleep.”
PHOTO COURTESY: Flickr