Stop coming late to court, judge raps Najib

Former prime minister Najib Razak ‘lost track of time’ with an unexpected visitor, his lawyer said.

KUALA LUMPUR: Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali reprimanded Najib Razak for being late in court again today on the 39th day of the ex-prime minister’s trial on charges of abuse of power and criminal breach of trust.

“I wish to remind the accused that he must be on schedule. Further tardiness will only delay the proceedings,” he said.

The judge, who is known for being patient and speaking only when necessary, said it was unfair to other court officials who were punctual.

In the past, Najib did not always keep to schedule during short breaks in the morning or arriving late for the afternoon proceedings, but Nazlan had ignored it.

Today, however, Nazlan decided to admonish the ex-prime minister for being tardy.

He made the remark after Najib’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah apologised for his client’s delayed arrival for the afternoon proceeding. “He had an unexpected visitor and lost track of time,” Shafee said.

The trial was scheduled to begin at 2.20pm after the court broke for recess at 12.50pm.

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas was already in court when Nazlan emerged from his chambers on time, only to see Najib not in the dock.

He returned to his chambers and came back at 2.40pm after he was informed that Najib was in court.

Later, former chief executive of Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) Ung Su Ling said she threw her (Blackberry Messenger ) mobile phone into a rubbish bin after removing the battery in 2015.

The phone contained, among others, messages she had sent and received from Najib’s principal private secretary Azlin Alias

Ung said she first deleted the messages from the phone a week after Azlin died in a helicopter crash on April 4, 2015, in which a Najib confidante Jamaluddin Jarjis and four others were killed.

“It was painful for me (to hear of Azlin’s demise) more so when we got along well,” she told Shafee.

Ung said she had nothing in writing to corroborate what Azlin had told her. “On hindsight, I should have kept the messages,” she said.

Ung told the court yesterday that instructions to transfer RM27 million and RM5 million on Dec 26, 2014 and RM10 million on Feb 10, 2015 into Najib’s AmBank accounts had come from Azlin.

Shafee then suggested to Ung that she was not telling the truth as Azlin was no longer around to verify her claim but the witness denied it.

Re-examined by ad-hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram, Ung said she was told that the RM42 million that was transferred into Najib’s accounts were meant for corporate social responsibility programmes.

Ung said she did not know whether Najib had made a police report against Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd’s managing director Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman for “wrongfully” transferring RM42 million into the accounts of the accused.

Najib, 66, faces three counts of criminal breach of trust, one charge of abusing his position and three counts of money laundering over SRC International Sdn Bhd funds amounting to RM42 million.

The offences were allegedly committed at AmIslamic Bank Bhd in Jalan Raja Chulan and the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011, and Feb 10, 2015.

The hearing continues before Nazlan.