KUALA LUMPUR – Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah refused to postpone the RM2.3 billion 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds misappropriation trial involving former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Collin wanted the proceeding to carry on despite he was told that the 12th witness, former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of 1MDB, Azmi Tahir was on medical leave for fever and could not testify today.
Deputy Public Prosecutor, Ahmad Akram Gharib, informed the court that the prosecution has tried to contact five other witnesses to testify today, however, they gave various excuses, including, being abroad, under quarantine post-umrah, sick and late notice.
Collin, however, sternly told Ahmad Akram that the prosecution has 50 witnesses and they need to contact all of them.
Among the witnesses that they have contacted were Datuk Johan Idris (KPMG Malaysia); former non-Executive Director of 1MDB, Tan Sri Ismee Ismail; former special officer to Najib, Datuk Wan Ahmad Shihab Wan Ismail; former Secretary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Lim Poh Seng and another witness, Goh Gaik Kim.
Ahmad Akram also tried to defer the trial again by telling the court that he could not think of anyone else to attend the proceeding this evening to testify.
“I cannot think of anyone else besides these five people to testify today. However, all of them had unavoidable reasons,” he said.
Nevertheless, Collin refused to accept those reasons and ordered the prosecution team to find other witnesses. He also set 2.30 pm to resume the trial.
“I don’t want to waste time postponing the trial. If these five witnesses cannot make it, find other witnesses. You have 50 witnesses for this case, right? Contact them. I give you until 2.30 pm. Until then, we adjourn the trial,” he ordered.
The proceeding that was supposed to resume at 9.00 am this morning until evening started a little late at 10.00 am today.
Najib was also spotted at the café as he has reached the court at 9.00 am this morning. The Member of Parliament (MP) of Pekan is facing 25 money-laundering charges, power abuse and misappropriation of close to RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds.
Yesterday, the witness, Azmi Tahir reject the allegations that he escaped the civil suit by 1MDB because he agreed to testify against Najib.
According to him, he has no authority to voice his concerns about the financial decision of the strategic investment company. However, he never raised the issued to the 1MDB Board of Directors because all financial transaction decisions have been decided and given the appropriate authority through the Directors’ Circular Resolution (DCR).
The proceeding would resume at 2.30 p.m. today. -MalaysiaGazette