(Updated)

Najib's second SRC trial deferred to August

File photo by Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Yusuf/The Edge

File photo by Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Yusuf/The Edge

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(This article has been amended for accuracy.)

KUALA LUMPUR (May 6): Datuk Seri Najib Razak's second SRC International Sdn Bhd trial for three money laundering charges involving RM27 million, scheduled in July, has been shelved until August this year.

This follows case management before High Court deputy registrar Catherine Nicholas today.

According to Nicholas, the trial dates in July have been vacated, with new dates fixed on Aug 2 to 5, 9 and 10 this year, and March 7 to 10, 28 to 31, April 11 to 14 and 25 to 28. Meanwhile, July 16 has been fixed for case management for the court to be updated on the balance of documents to be handed to the defence, she added.

The trial was originally fixed from July 5 to 8.

On Feb 3, 2019, Najib pleaded not guilty to the three charges of money laundering whereby he is alleged to have received a total of RM27 million, allegedly proceeds from unlawful activity, in three AmPrivate Banking accounts belonging to him.

Najib is alleged to have committed the offences on July 8, 2014 at AmIslamic Bank Bhd, Bangunan Ambank Group, No. 55, Jalan Raja Chulan, under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001, which provides for a maximum fine of RM5 million or jail not exceeding five years or both, if convicted.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul, when contacted today, confirmed the trial dates in July had been vacated.

The priority now, Ashrof said, is Najib's ongoing appeal against his conviction and sentence in the first SRC International case.

Najib was found guilty last July in the first SRC trial for abuse of power in approving the RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc between 2011 and 2012, from which he received the RM42 million, as well as three counts each of criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving the same amount.

For this, he was sentenced to 12 years' jail and a fine of RM210 million, which he is presently appealing. The appeal is scheduled to resume on May 18 at the Court of Appeal.

Kathy Fong