KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has allowed a request by the prosecution to postpone Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial after lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram passed away on Sunday.
This followed a request by the prosecution to enable its team members to attend his wake and funeral which will take place on Tuesday.
“We wanted to be at his wake and later cremation tomorrow (at Nirvana 2). He was our team leader and like a father to us,” deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib told Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah when hearing commenced this morning.
Sri Ram was appointed ad hoc prosecutor and led the prosecution in Najib’s 1MDB trial as well as the former prime minister and Arul Kanda Kandasamy’s 1MDB audit report trial.
Akram asked for the case to resume on Thursday since Wednesday is a public holiday in conjunction with Federal Territories Day.
He also informed the court that the prosecution will have to “discuss and redistribute its job scope in light of Sri Ram’s sudden demise”.
Lawyer Shafee Abdullah extended to the prosecution the condolences of Najib’s defence team over Sri Ram’s passing.
He also told the court the defence is expected to complete its cross-examination of former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu, by the end of this week.
Yu had been on the witness stand since Oct 13, 2022.
Najib is standing trial for 25 counts of money laundering and abuse of power over the alleged misuse of 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion deposited into his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.