KUALA LUMPUR: Najib Razak’s lawyer has questioned the delay by prosecutors who are seeking to amend charges brought against the former prime minister some five years after the case first came to court.
Shafee Abdullah told the High Court today that the proposed amendments were made only after two witnesses – Bank Negara Malaysia analyst Adam Ariff Roslan and Bukit Aman investigating officer Foo Wei Min – testified.
In addition, he pointed out that Adam’s report on the money trail involving funds that entered Najib’s accounts was only completed last year.
Shafee also questioned why the prosecution drew up the charges against Najib using the “wrong figures” when Foo knew the “real figures” in 2018.
“This case is almost (coming) to the end, and now amendments are being sought. (This shows) that he (Najib) was charged prematurely in 2018,” Shafee said.
The prosecution is seeking to amend one abuse of power and two money laundering charges.
They are asking to reduce the quantum of gratification stated in the fourth abuse of power charge faced by Najib from RM49.9 million to RM45.8 million.
On the two money laundering charges, the prosecution wants to reduce the quantum stated in the 10th and 21st charges, from RM652.6 million to RM515.7 million, and from RM12.4 million to RM11.4 million, respectively.
Replying to a question by Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah whether Shafee was suggesting an improper motive on the part of the prosecution, the lawyer said he was merely pointing out that the prosecution had sat on the matter for the last five years.
He insisted that the proposed amendments are unfair to Najib and prejudices his defence.
Shafee also said the prosecution can drop the three affected charges.
The hearing continues tomorrow.
Najib is standing trial on 25 charges of abuse of power and money laundering of alleged 1MDB funds totalling RM2.28 billion deposited into his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.