KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 19): Former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak's (pictured) application to call a foreign expert to examine the documents bearing his signature in the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial will be heard on Jan 7 by the High Court.

The date was fixed by High Court deputy registrar Mahyuddin Md Som in his chambers today.

Najib was represented by lawyer Syahirah Hanafiah while Deputy Public Prosecutor Sulaiman Koh Abdullah appeared for the prosecution.

The application will be heard before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who is presiding over the SRC trial.

It was previously reported that Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah wanted to call a handwriting expert from Australia to study the documents.

Initially, Shafee made an oral application but this was vehemently objected by the prosecution led by Datuk V Sithambaram, who wanted the defence to file a formal written application.

Following this, Justice Nazlan asked the defence to file the application formally.

Najib had disputed his signatures on nine documents that he claimed could have been forged or manipulated.

These documents had been tendered as evidence by the prosecution and defence team in the SRC trial.

These documents concerned 1Malaysia Development Bhd and SRC minutes along with a bank document.

The prosecution has contended that what the premier said was an afterthought.

Yesterday, it was reported that Justice Nazlan had vacated the trial dates in Najib and former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah's International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) case, which was scheduled to begin on Jan 6, to make way for the SRC trial.

Najib and Mohd Irwan are facing criminal breach of trust charges involving RM6.64 billion in government funds in the IPIC case.

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