KUALA LUMPUR: The attorney-general (AG) has filed a motion requesting High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah to postpone Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial to ensure that the former prime minister’s ongoing SRC International case is completed.
The court papers were filed today with the High Court registry fixing July 18 for Sequerah to hear the motion.
On Monday, Sequerah rejected AG Tommy Thomas’ oral application on grounds that it was the third request to postpone the 1MDB case.
“The application is denied and the 1MDB trial will proceed as scheduled,” the judge said.
Deputy public prosecutor Budiman Lutfi Mohamed, who affirmed an affidavit in support of the motion, said the 1MDB case scheduled to begin on Aug 19 must be shelved to give way to the SRC International trial.
“It is in the best interest of all parties, including witnesses subpoenaed, to attend the SRC trial as the case involves a former prime minister and must be disposed of expeditiously.
“It would be against public interest and prejudicial to the defence of the accused to have multiple trials involving Najib on a part-heard basis,” Budiman said.
He added that this application did not prejudice Najib as he was on bail.
Budiman said any postponement of the 1MDB trial would not be indefinite as it would only be until the court gives a judgment in the SRC International case.
Najib’s SRC International case, where he is facing seven charges of money laundering, abuse of power and misappropriation of RM42 million of funds, is being heard until Aug 15.
Budiman said today that 45 prosecution witnesses had been called.
“At this stage, the prosecution intends to call about 20 more witnesses although the situation is fluid and dynamic,” he said, adding that it was highly unlikely the SRC International trial could be completed by Aug 15.
Sequerah had earlier fixed the 1MDB trial to run from Aug 19 to Nov 14.
Budiman said judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who is hearing the SRC International case, had also indicated that he would have no objection to continuing with the case on the dates set aside for the 1MDB case.
Najib was slapped with 25 charges of money laundering and abuse of power last September over alleged 1MDB funds in his AmBank account.
He is accused of abusing his position to obtain RM2.28 billion in bribes in February 2011 and December 2014.
He is also said to have transferred the RM2.28 billion in illegal funds to his bank account, and to have subsequently used the money.