PUTRAJAYA: Najib Razak’s SRC International trial will be slightly delayed as the Federal Court has to decide whether the deputy public prosecutor (DPP) can withdraw his certificate of transfer, said criminal lawyers today.
Counsel Salim Bashir said it was better for the apex court to make the ruling to bring finality to the issue which is now before the Court of Appeal.
“The trial will be slightly held up even if it is due to a technical oversight by the prosecution,” he told FMT.
Lawyer N Sivananthan agreed with Salim, and said the postponement would not take too long.
“The trial would begin soon in the High Court in the event the Federal Court upheld the decision of the high court judge,” Sivananthan told FMT.
He said everyone was in agreement that the trial should be held in the High Court due to the personality involved and it was a public interest case which had attracted global attention.
The lawyers said this in response to the prosecution which has gone to the Federal Court to set aside an order to delay Najib’s trial pending an appeal.
On Feb 7, High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali allowed the DPP to withdraw his certificate to transfer seven charges faced by Najib from the Sessions Court.
The judge then used his discretion to transfer the cases back to his court for him to preside over the trial.
On Feb 11, the Court of Appeal allowed Najib’s application to postpone his trial pending the determination of an appeal against the DPP’s withdrawal of the transfer certificate.
The appeal is scheduled to be heard in the Court of Appeal on March 11 and 12.
Najib faces six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million into his account from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.
He is also accused of abusing his power as prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc.
Nazlan had in August last year fixed a 33-day trial from Feb 12 to March 29.