Public wants Najib’s trial to start — AG

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on March 13, 2019.
Public wants Najib’s trial to start — AG
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PUTRAJAYA: Attorney-General Tommy Thomas told the Court of Appeal yesterday that the prosecution is under public pressure from within and outside the country to ensure that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s criminal breach of trust and money laundering trial begins as soon as possible.

“The prosecution is under scrutiny from the public as they want to see the trial proceed. The whole world is also looking at us, and if possible we want to see the trial (in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur) to proceed tomorrow (today),” Thomas told a three-member bench led by Justice Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof.

Thomas said this after Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah sought an adjournment in the hearing of the last of four appeals related to the trial, as he has fractured his hand.

Thomas objected to the request, noting that the court had fixed two days — Monday and yesterday — to hear the appeals.

Muhammad Shafee informed the court that he was unable to submit on the fourth appeal, involving the prosecution’s withdrawal of a certificate to transfer Najib’s trial from the Sessions Court to the High Court.

“My pet dog jumped on me (causing) me to fall, and I fractured my hand. I have to get my hand X-rayed, and unfortunately the specialist at the Columbia Hospital in Shah Alam is not available.

“I have to get my hand X-rayed again to see the extent of the injury maybe tonight (last night). However, I am prepared to do the appeal (today) and continue on Thursday (tomorrow) and Friday,” he said.

Justice Zabariah then fixed Friday for the hearing of the fourth appeal.

The other two judges were Justice Datuk Rhozariah Bujang and Datuk Lau Bee Lan.

The appeal could not be heard today as all three judges would be on duty with separate benches, while Thomas had to be in Johor Baru for a matter.

The other three appeals involved applications by Najib for a gag order to prohibit the media from discussing the merits of his criminal cases, for the recovery of documents and statements, and to challenge the appointment of senior lawyer Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah as the lead prosecutor in the trial.

Najib’s trial involves seven charges pertaining to RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd.