KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has deferred the scheduled dates for former prime minister Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial set for this week to March 2.
This follows an application by the defence, led by lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, to postpone the trial, which was previously fixed for Feb 18 and 21, as he has to attend his son’s wedding in Penang.
Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib, when contacted by Bernama, said that judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed Shafee’s application to adjourn the trial when the matter was brought up in chambers today.
“The next trial date will be on March 2,” said Akram.
Shafee’s son, Muhammad Farhan, who is also a practising lawyer and part of Najib’s defence team, is getting married on Feb 20.
Earlier, during Najib’s SRC International Sdn Bhd trial before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, Shafee informed the court that he would seek a postponement of the 1MDB trial before Sequerah.
“I did not know that I would be involved in the wedding preparations. It has something to do with Penang Malay culture, ‘tarian semarak’. Luckily I am not the one to perform,” Shafee said in jest.
The rest of the dates for the trial remain as previously fixed by Sequerah — March 2-6, 9-13, 19-20, 23-27, 30-31, the whole of April, May 4 and the weekdays of June until October, including Fridays.
Shafee was to have continued with the defence cross-examination of former chief executive officer of 1MDB Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, the ninth prosecution witness, who has been on the stand from Sept 23 last year.
Najib, 67, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.