KUALA LUMPUR: Najib Razak wants the High Court to fix an early trial date should the attorney-general (AG) decide to proceed to trial on money laundering charges brought against the former prime minister involving RM27 million in SRC International funds.
“This case has been longstanding but I have no objection to the prosecution asking for another mention date,” counsel Shafee Abdullah informed Justice K Muniandy today.
However, he said, the defence would want the trial to commence soonest possible and asked for trial dates to be fixed soon after August if the AG, who is also the public prosecutor, makes an “adverse” decision.
“I understand this matter (the three money laundering charges) is being actively reviewed by the AG,” he said.
FMT understands the defence is hoping the AG will drop the charges against Najib since the prosecution has secured a conviction in the RM42 million SRC International corruption case.
Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Ashrof Adrin Kamarul informed Muniandy he had been instructed by the AG to ask for another mention date in August pending the disposal of British lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw’s appeal to represent Najib in the already concluded SRC International corruption case.
The Federal Court has fixed Aug 10 to hear Laidlaw’s appeal.
Muniandy fixed the case for mention on Aug 17 and said he would decide on the trial dates then.
On Feb 3, 2019, Najib claimed trial to the three money laundering charges in which he is said to have accepted proceeds from illegal activities amounting to RM27 million through three AmPrivate banking accounts.
He allegedly committed the offences at AmIslamic Bank Berhad at the AmBank Group building at Jalan Raja Chulan here on July 8, 2014.
If found guilty, he faces a maximum fine of RM5 million or imprisonment of up to five years, or both, for the charges which were framed under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001.
On Aug 23, 2022, the Federal Court upheld Najib’s conviction for misappropriating SRC funds of RM42 million. The apex court also upheld the sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment and a fine of RM210 million imposed on the former prime minister.
Najib began his jail sentence on the same day.
On March 31, the Federal Court, in a 4-1 split ruling, dismissed his application for leave to have his conviction and sentence reviewed.