Ex-PM Najib's SRC trial postponed

Malaysia's former Prime Minister Najib Razak arrives in court in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia's former Prime Minister Najib Razak arrives in court in Kuala Lumpur

The corruption trial of the former Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, over charges related to a multibillion-dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB has been postponed, his lawyer said, citing a court ruling.

According to report from Sin Chew Daily, the Court of Appeal allowed Najib's application for a stay of his trial that was due to start tomorrow at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

The decision came after Court of Appeal's three-member panel, comprising Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi, Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah and Datuk Yew Jen Kie, called for a 30-minute stand down, subsequent to hearing arguments presented by the prosecution and the defence.

He is charged with 42 counts of criminal breach of trust, graft, abuse of power and money laundering in one of Malaysia's biggest criminal trials.

Thomas had requested under Section 417 of the Criminal Procedural Code (CPC) to have the three charges first slapped on Najib on January 28 to be tried together with the former premier's SRC cases as it was related.

This is despite Attorney-General Tommy Thomas having informed the court last Thursday that the prosecution was ready to commence with its case on Tuesday. His lawyers are appealing Monday to delay his trial.

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The three cases will now be transferred to the High Court registry.

On Friday, Najib claimed trial before Sessions Court judge Azman Ahmad to the three money-laundering charges amounting to RM42 million.

The next day, the former Umno president pleaded not guilty to three counts of money laundering involving RM27 million of SRC International's funds after he was re-charged with the same charges in the Sessions Court.

The offences were allegedly committed at AmIslamic Bank Bhd on Jalan Raja Chulan on July 8, 2014 under Section 4 (1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001.

The money laundering case originated from the Sessions Court and the prosecution should have mentioned the case at the Sessions Court before transferring it to the High Court.

Muhammad Shafee, who was appointed as lead prosecutor in the appeal of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy II case in 2013, is leading the defence team and is being assisted by a team of lawyers which includes among others Harvinderjit Singh and Muhammad Farhan Shafee. DPPs Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusoff, Budiman Lutfi Mohamed and Muhammad Izzat Fauzan are also in the team.

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