KUALA LUMPUR: Najib Razak told the High Court that he is not in a position to testify in Umno veteran Shahrir Samad’s RM1 million money laundering trial today.
He also said that he was unable to prepare a witness statement for the trial as his lawyer Shafee Abdullah is out of town.
“It is important for my lawyer to be around,” Najib said.
Deputy public prosecutor Rasyidah Murni Azmi then urged the court to consider Najib’s plea for Shafee to be present when the statement is drawn up and when the former prime minister testifies.
“We have another hearing date on Jan 5, 2023,” she added.
Trial judge Justice Jamil Hussin then asked Najib, who was seated in the witness stand, whether he could give evidence orally.
Najib said he was not prepared to do so.
Jamil then instructed Najib to return to court on Jan 5 next year.
Shahrir is standing trial on a charge under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 for allegedly receiving RM1 million from Najib in 2013 and not declaring the sum to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN). The funds were alleged to have originated from 1MDB.
The court also heard testimony from Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Nurzahidah Yacop, who was tasked with the probe into the case against the former Johor Bahru MP.
Under cross-examination by lawyer Syed Faisal Syed Abdullah Al-Edros, she told the court that a total of three statements were recorded from Shahrir during the investigation that was carried out between July 7, 2019 and Jan 20, 2020.
Faisal then asked the officer whether she looked into Shahrir’s purchase of a Honda Civic Hybrid automobile in 2013.
The court was told that Shahrir paid RM118,485 for the car using a cheque on Dec 21, 2013.
“Did MACC officers seize the car in Ipoh in 2019?” Faisal asked, to which Nurzahidah answered “yes”.
The lawyer then questioned whether the witness knew that the car was registered with the road transport department (JPJ) using the Johor Bahru Umno division address, and not Shahrir’s Bukit Tunku home address.
Nurzahidah said she was aware of it.
Faisal: Was there evidence to show that the Honda Civic was only used by him personally?
The hearing continues.