KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 31): Enlarged pictures of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's swollen eyes were shared to High Court Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah today, as the defence team had requested to postpone court proceedings because the former premier's eyes were painful.
Only three persons sighted the pictures: the judge, lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, and senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.
"Only three of us have this picture. I hope it doesn't go into the internet for Halloween purposes," Shafee told Justice Sequerah.
Shafee explained that he received a call from his client saying that Najib went to see his doctor at the International Specialist Eye Centre (ISEC) for a checkup on his swollen eyes.
"The swell in both of his eyes have become worse, suspecting that it is again conjunctivitis. But the doctor has discovered that he (Najib) may be allergic to certain things. So it needs to be inspected. Tomorrow morning, my client is up for a full blood test.
"Although it is not infectious, he is currently in pain," Shafee explained.
Shafee added that Najib had initially wanted to come, and he suggested that the former premier wear "dark glasses".
"Unfortunately, the swell was beyond the dark glasses. He apologises for the inconvenience to Yang Arif and the prosecution team," Shafee said.
Outside the court, Shafee told reporters that Najib is now on a one-day medical leave.
"In the light, or sunlight, it is painful, and it is not just the eye, the fleshy part around the eye is swelling," he said.
Shafee also explained that if the pain in Najib's eyes persists, he may not join the campaigning for Tanjung Piai by-election.
It is worth noting that this is the third time the defence team had requested to postpone court proceedings due to Najib's eye conditions. Previously, Najib was reported to have contracted conjunctivitis due to the haze. Proceedings during the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial had to be postponed due to his eye condition and during the haze situation in the middle of the 1MDB trial.
On the defence's request for the prosecution to hand over documents it obtained from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) vide a pendrive from former PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI) employee Xavier Andre Justo, Justice Sequerah has set Nov 21 for case management of the application.
The motion was filed under Section 51A of the Criminal Procedural Code and Section 60(3) of the Evidence Act.
Sri Ram today requested for a period of three weeks for his team to prepare the affidavit in reply to the application.
Shafee, however, told reporters that "the other side says they may object, but they need time to reply".
Najib is facing 25 charges: three counts of criminal breach of trust, one for abuse of power and 21 for money laundering in relation to 1MDB funds.
The trial would resume on Monday, and on subsequent days, both the prosecution and defence agreed that the proceedings would end at 6pm to make up for the lost time.
The Edge is reporting the proceedings of the 1MDB-Tanore trial live.
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