1MDB trial postponed again — to Aug 26

Najib was greeted by his supporters upon arriving at the Kuala Lumpur High Court for the 1MDB trial this morning. (Photo by: Mohd Izwan Mohd Nazam/The Edge)

Najib and his entourage surrounded by the media at the Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning. (Photo by: Shahrin Yahya/The Edge)

(Photo by: Mohd Izwan Mohd Nazam/The Edge)

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 19): Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's trial over his alleged abuse of power and laundering of RM2.28 billion in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds has been postponed by a week to next Monday (Aug 26).

Appointed prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram told High Court Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah that the 1MDB trial cannot begin today, because the prosecution in Najib's ongoing SRC International Sdn Bhd have not completed making their case yet.

In the SRC trial, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigating officer Senior Assistant Commissioner Rosli Hussain has yet to conclude his testimony.

This follows a three-day pause of the trial as Najib was given medical leave to recover from his bout of conjunctivitis.

Sri Ram today also said there are 12 other witness statements which the prosecution team could only make available by this Friday.

Justice Collin then fixed Thursday (Aug 22) for case management and for the trial to begin on Monday (Aug 26).

Nonetheless, defence lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah requested that the trial to be postponed until Sept 3 this year, as the prosecution is handing over to the defence 15 more volumes of documents, which Shafee said his team may require some time to go through.

Justice Collin then suggested that the prosecution could make available some formal witnesses when the trial begins next Monday, while Sri Ram could read out the opening statement today.

However, Sri Ram said the opening statement is not ready yet, and that some witnesses may have to wait until their statements are ready before appearing in court.

Justice Collin then ordered that the trial begin next Monday, when the prosecution should be prepared and the opening statement be read out, while some formal witnesses will make oral statements.

Goldman Sachs is also holding a watching brief in this trial and were represented by lawyer Chethan Jethwani in today's proceedings.

The 1MDB case is expected to call more than 60 witnesses, including foreign citizens.

Meanwhile, the SRC trial has been postponed to 2:30pm today, as Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali is presiding over another trial at the moment.

See also:
Goldman Sachs holds watching brief in 1MDB trial

Shafee laments 'no more cycling' due to tight schedule, but defence won't appeal against 1MDB's Monday hearing