48 days of trial fixed for Najib and Irwan's IPIC case

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 14): The High Court here has today fixed approximately 48 days of trial beginning Jan 6 next year for the hearing of Datuk Seri Najib Razak's and former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah's International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) case.

Najib and Mohd Irwan are jointly facing six charges of criminal breach of trust involving RM6.64 billion of government funds for payments to IPIC.

The dates were fixed by Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali during case management, before the former premier's SRC International Sdn Bhd trial.

Tentatively, the court has fixed Jan 6 to 9, Feb 3 to 5, Feb 10 to 13, Feb 24 to 27, March 2 to 5, March 9 to 12 and most of April 2020 as the trial dates.

Justice Nazlan wants to block the trial dates to ensure that they are fixed.

The trial dates are intermittent as Najib is also facing another trial with former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) president and chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy for allegedly tampering with the 1MDB audit report, as well as 25 counts of money laundering and abuse of power of 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion.

Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Jamal Aripin, who is the unit head of the trial division of the Attorney General Chambers' trial and appeals division, and DPP Nik Syahril Nik Ab Rahman appeared for the prosecution.

Senior lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Harvinderjit Singh and their team appeared for Najib, while Datuk K Kumaraendran represents Mohd Irwan.

In the IPIC case, Najib and Mohd Irwan had claimed trial on Oct 25 last year to six counts of misappropriating some RM6.64 billion in government funds. The offences were allegedly committed between Dec 21, 2016 and Dec 18, 2017.

Part of the funds has been slated for certain purposes including the management expenditure of KL International Airport, and subsidy and cash assistance reportedly under Budget 2017 allocation.

Previously, it has been reported that the monies were channelled to 1MDB instead, to repay its debts including US$1.2 billion to Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund in April 2017.