KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court was told today that the hearing of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s case involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) will take a long time and is expected to extend beyond the date for the trial of the criminal breach of trust (CBT) case, involving RM6.6 billion in government funds, facing him and former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.
On Oct 9 last year, Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin set 32 days, in September and October 2021, except Friday, to make way for the completion of two criminal cases (on 1MDB and audit report) involving Najib.
Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, representing Najib, told the court that the 1MDB trial would take a long time as the case was still in the cross-examination stage of the 10th prosecution witness, who is former 1MDB chief executive officer Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman, and the prosecution is expected to call 60 witnesses.
“I would like to ask Yang Arif (Judge Muhammad Jamil) if the trial of the 1MDB case goes beyond the trial date (of the CBT case), will Yang Arif takes into account the date to continue the hearing of the 1MDB case with the (CBT) case?
“The reason being that the hearing of the 1MDB case is going to take a long time … I request May 21 for case management as agreed by both parties to inform the latest status of two criminal cases (1MDB and audit report) involving my client,” he said during the case management today.
Lawyer Datuk K. Kumaraendran, representing Mohd Irwan Serigar, did not object to it, but requested for the presence of his client to be exempted as he (Mohd Irwan Serigar) was taking a law course at a private college and had to sit for an examination on that day.
Following which, Judge Muhammad Jamil set May 21 for case management and allowed Kumaraendran’s request. He also maintained the dates that had been fixed to hear the case.
The prosecution was conducted by deputy public prosecutor Nik Syahril Nik Ab Rahman.
Najib, 67, and Mohd Irwan Serigar, 63, both in suits, were in court today.
On Oct 24, 2018, Najib and Mohd Irwan Serigar pleaded not guilty to six CBT charges, involving RM6.6 billion in government funds, that was paid to International Petroleum International Corp (IPIC).
They were charged with committing the offences at the Ministry of Finance Complex, Putrajaya, between Dec 21, 2016 and Dec 18, 2017.
The charges were framed under Section 409 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same law, which provides for an imprisonment for up to 20 and whipping, as is liable with fine, if found guilty.