Najib must apologise for FB comments on trial, says AG

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas.

KUALA LUMPUR: Attorney-General Tommy Thomas today demanded an apology from former prime minister Najib Razak for posting comments about his ongoing corruption and criminal breach of trust trial on Facebook.

Thomas said the prosecution believed Najib had made the comments about his credit card spending without advice from his defence counsel.

“He should make a full and unconditional apology for what he did,” he said, adding that as any other accused person, Najib must be treated equally under the law.

At the outset of today’s proceeding, Thomas said two witnesses had given evidence on Najib’s credit card spending and that the former prime minister had taken to Facebook on Monday and Tuesday to explain the purpose of the expenditure.

“Such conduct must cease,” he said, adding that the rule of sub judice applies even though Najib’s case is not trial by jury.

“He cannot expect to be treated above others just because he is a former prime minister and has a political audience.”

According to Malaysia’s criminal justice system, Thomas said, the prosecution presents its case and if the defence is called, Najib would be able to put forward his case in the court of law.

“That is his right, but he must understand what I have said,” he added.

Lawyer Harvinderjit Singh said lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was engaged in another court and applied for the matter to be heard later.

However, ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram said a time should be fixed to settle the issue.

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said it was a straightforward matter but agreed to hear from Najib’s lawyers after lunch.

On Monday, the court heard that about RM3.9 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s money was used in 2014 and 2015 to settle the former prime minister’s credit card bills.

Najib faces six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million to 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.

The Pekan MP was charged with committing the offences at AmIslamic Bank Bhd in Jalan Raja Chulan and the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011, and Feb 10, 2015.