Angry at Najib's no-show, judge orders him to return for trial after meeting with Agong

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 19): Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak angered High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah (pictured) this morning after he did not show up for the 1Malaysia Development Bhd-Tanore (1MDB-Tanore) trial.

Najib’s counsel Rahmat Hazlan told the judge that his client had been summoned to the palace this morning, but Justice Sequerah was not happy to hear about Najib's absence.

“He and 114 other MPs have been summoned to the Palace to confirm their support for Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri. We are not sure what time my client is scheduled to meet the King, but he is leaving PWTC at 10.30am," said the lawyer.

An infuriated Justice Sequerah then replied that Najib should have come to court to inform the judge of his need to see the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“He should have had the courtesy to come here first. From the news report I have read, it said the meeting with the King would be in batches.

“This case is ongoing. I will be back in 10 minutes and I want to know exactly what time he will be meeting the King. After he's done with that, he has to be back here for the trial to continue. I may not even stop at 4pm today," Sequerah told the lawyer before standing down for a short break.

As per Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs), the trial is supposed to end at 4pm.

After the break, Rahmat informed the judge that Najib was currently at PWTC with other UMNO MPs and would be leaving at 10.30am to see the King.

Cutting an irate figure, Sequerah had no choice but to adjourn the trial to 2.30pm and told the lawyer that he hoped his client would show up for the trial.

"I have to carry on with the case, come what may. We have lost too much time," said Justice Sequerah.

"I understand that he has to be there when the King summons him. But he does not have to be there the whole day," the judge added.

It was reported that the King had summoned some 114 MPs to the palace this morning to interview them on their choice for the next prime minister.

The trial continues at 2.30pm.

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