PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has fixed Dec 8 to decide on former prime minister Najib Razak’s bid to obtain documents related to companies controlled by former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s family and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho for his ongoing 1MDB trial.
Justice Kamaludin Md Said, who chairs a three-man panel alongside Justices Ahmad Nasfy Yasin and Nordin Hassan, said the court needed time to look into the matter.
Last year, Najib sought to compel the government to provide banking documents belonging to companies controlled by Zeti’s family and Low, also known as Jho Low.
He claimed that the documents were important for his 1MDB defence and that the government had not made them available to his lawyers before his case began.
Najib is standing trial on 25 charges of abuse of power and money laundering over alleged 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion deposited into his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.
Among the documents he sought from the government are bank account statements for Aktis Capital Singapore Pte Ltd, Country Group Securities Public Company Ltd, ACME Time Ltd (BVI), Butamba Investments Ltd, and Central Holdings Ltd. These companies were linked to Low.
He is also seeking bank account statements from Iron Rhapsody Ltd, Cutting Edge Industries Ltd, as well as Shearman and Sterling LLC, linked to Zeti’s family.
Besides the bank account statements, Najib wants the government to produce company documents of all the firms mentioned, as well as the government’s settlement agreement with Goldman Sachs.
The High Court had in July last year refused Najib’s bid.
Earlier today, Najib’s lawyer, Shafee Abdullah, said he will confront Zeti with allegations that her husband and sons received 1MDB funds from Low when she comes to court. She will testify in the 1MDB trial later.
Shafee insisted that the defence’s bid to obtain the documents was not a “fishing expedition”.
“There were overwhelming news reports that showed these documents existed. I want to confirm that the prosecution had these documents with them,” he said.
Ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram said Zeti will answer the allegations against her family in court.
Stating that the defence had relied on news reports on the existence of the documents, he said such reports were hearsay.
“Their entire case was based on news reports (claiming) that we have these documents.
“The defence tried to adduce these documents at this stage for an ‘advance ruling’ that she (Zeti) is not a credible witness,” Sri Ram said, adding that Zeti’s credibility should be determined at the end of the prosecution’s case.
To that, Kamaludin asked why the defence is seeking the documents at this stage as the trial is ongoing.
“If they (the prosecution) can’t prove their case against the accused (Najib) in the end, the whole thing (seeking documents) will have collapsed,” he said.
“I would have attacked the gaps in the prosecution’s case.”
Shafee then said the defence wanted to find out from Zeti what happened during her tenure as BNM governor, claiming that she was “negligent” for not alerting Najib about the source of funds in his account.