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1MDB trial postponed as Najib on MC after eye surgery

KUALA LUMPUR (May 24): The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-Tanore trial was vacated today as former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was recovering from eye surgery.

The trial was supposed to continue this morning with former 1MDB chief executive officer (CEO) Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman, the 10th prosecution witness, continuing his testimony.

However, during proceedings this morning, Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informed the judge that Najib had some complications after the surgery and needed time to recover. 

“He had the surgery last Thursday after our trial; he was given medical leave for seven days. He said he was hoping to recover, but unfortunately he developed a haematoma. We were all hoping he would have recovered yesterday but it got worse,” Shafee told Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah this morning. 

Justice Collin allowed the case to be postponed today and said he will wait for Najib’s condition tomorrow before proceeding with the trial. 

“Perhaps we can come here and meet tomorrow as usual. If he (Najib) is somehow ok, then we can proceed,” Justice Collin advised. 

Najib is facing 25 charges in the 1MDB-Tanore trial — namely four counts of abuse of power involving RM2.3 billion worth of 1MDB funds said to have been siphoned through Tanore Finance Corp, and 21 counts of money laundering.

Last year, he was found guilty of seven criminal charges — comprising one count of abuse of power and three counts each of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering — involving RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former 1MDB subsidiary, that ended up in his personal accounts.

He was sentenced to 12 years in jail and a fine of RM210 million for the abuse of power offence, and 10 years of imprisonment for each of the CBT and money laundering charges. 

The court, however, ordered the jail sentences to run concurrently, which means Najib would have to spend only 12 years behind bars. He is appealing against the conviction and sentences.

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