Najib's 1MDB trial vacated due to Shafee's request

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 3): The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial scheduled for tomorrow (Jan 4) involving former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been vacated due to his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah's request.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohamad Mustafa P Kunyalam told that the High Court trial involving Najib, who has been convicted of crimes related to 1MDB’s former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd, will resume from Tuesday (Jan 5) to Thursday (Jan 7).

"Yes, the case tomorrow has been vacated due to Shafee's request.

"It will resume on Tuesday with the cross-examination of 1MDB former chief executive officer Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman," Mustafa said.

Mustafa said the High Court last week agreed to Shafee's request to vacate the trial initially scheduled for tomorrow.

The 1MDB trial will be conducted before High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

Najib, who was Malaysia's prime minister between 2009 and 2018, is facing four counts of abuse of power for using his position as the then prime minister, finance minister and 1MDB board of advisers chairman to receive gratification worth RM2.28 billion.

He is also facing 21 counts of money laundering involving over RM4.3 billion.

On Dec 7, 2020, it was reported that the 1MDB trial, which was initially fixed to resume tomorrow (Jan 4), had been postponed as Najib had to attend Parliament sessions until Dec 17, 2020.

For 2021, it was reported that the High Court had initially fixed to hear the case on Jan 4 to 7, 25 to 27; Feb 2 to 4, 8 to 11, 15 to 18; April 5 to 8, 19 to 22, 26 to 28; May 3 to 6, 17 to 20, 24 to 27; June 1 to 3, 8 to 10, 21 to 24, 28 to 30; and July 5 to 8.

Najib, who is also facing the 1MDB audit tampering trial before another High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini bin Mazlan, was convicted on July 28, 2020 for crimes related to 1MDB's former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.

On July 28, 2020, it was reported that Najib was sentenced by the High Court to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million after High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali found Najib guilty of all seven charges, including one for abuse of power involving the Retirement Fund Inc's (KWAP) RM4 billion loans to SRC, three counts of criminal breach of trust involving RM42 million and three counts of money laundering.

It was reported that Najib was the first former prime minister in the country to be charged in court and sentenced to jail.

It was also reported that Najib's appeal against his conviction in the SRC trial would commence on Feb 15, 2021.

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