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Court retains Sept-Oct dates for IPIC trial

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 6): The criminal breach of trust (CBT) trial of former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pictured) and former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah involving RM6.6 billion of government funds for payments made to International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) will still be held at the High Court in September and October this year.

This is despite the uncertainty with regards to the progress of Najib's ongoing 1Malaysia Development Bhd-Tanore (1MDB-Tanore) trial, as the 10th prosecution witness, 1MDB former CEO Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman is still testifying.

Justice Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin decided to maintain the dates after Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah confirmed that the dates were still suitable, but inquired whether the court still wanted to deliberate over whether it would hear the case or not as the 1MDB-Tanore trial is not expected to end by then.

Thus, Deputy Public Prosecutor Nik Syahril Nik Ab Rahman along with Shafee and Irwan's counsel Datuk K Kumaraendran suggested that the court have another case management date to be updated on the progress of the 1MDB-Tanore trial.

As a result, Justice Jamil fixed May 21 for case management.

The court was also told that Irwan had requested that he be excused from attending the May 21 case management as he has a scheduled law exam on that day, which the judge allowed.

Justice Jamil has taken over the case from Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

Justice Nazlan, who had presided in Najib's SRC International Sdn Bhd trial, found the former premier guilty of all seven charges of CBT, money laundering and abuse of power, and sentenced the politician to 12 years' jail and a fine of RM210 million, was the original judge in the IPIC case.

On Oct 9 last year, Justice Jamil had fixed 32 days for the IPIC trial on every working day in September and October 2021 except Friday.

On Oct 24, 2018, Najib, 67, and Mohd Irwan Serigar, 63, claimed trial at the Sessions Court to six CBT charges.

For the first charge, they were jointly charged with committing CBT on an RM1.2 billion government property as civil servants, namely finance minister and Treasury secretary-general respectively, in their capacity of being entrusted with dominion on the fund belonging to the Malaysian government.

According to the second charge, Najib and Mohd Irwan were jointly charged in the same positions with committing CBT on RM655 million belonging to the Malaysian government.

For the third charge, they were jointly accused in the same capacity as civil servants and holding the same positions with committing CBT on RM220 million under “Belanja Mengurus di bawah Maksud B11 Perkhidmatan Am Perbendaharaan, Aktiviti 021700 KL International Airport Berhad (KLIAB)” that was entrusted to them.

Both of them were jointly charged in the same positions for committing CBT on RM1.3 billion allocation under Federal Consolidated Fund under “Maksud B11 Perkhidmatan Am Perbendaharaan, Aktiviti 020500 Subsidi Dan Bantuan Tunai”, belonging to the Malaysian government.

For the fifth and sixth charges, they were jointly accused in the same positions for committing CBT on 1.95 billion yuan (RM1.26 billion) and RM2 billion respectively belonging to the Malaysian government.

Najib and Mohd Irwan Serigar were jointly accused of committing all the offences at the Finance Ministry Complex, Putrajaya between Dec 21, 2016 and Dec 18, 2017.

They were charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code read together with Section 34 of the same code which provides for a maximum of 20 years jail and whipping as well as fine if convicted.

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