Malaysia court postpones biggest 1MDB trial involving ex-PM Najib

Malaysia's former prime minister, Najib Razak will have to fight 21 charges of money laundering and four of abuse of power for receiving illegal transfers of about RM2.3 billion between 2011 and 2014.
Malaysia's former prime minister, Najib Razak will have to fight 21 charges of money laundering and four of abuse of power for receiving illegal transfers of about RM2.3 billion between 2011 and 2014.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR – The much anticipated 1MDB trial implicating Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak, who is accused of using his positions to obtain gratification totalling RM2.3 billion (S$760 million), has been postponed until next Monday (Aug 26) to make way for its former subsidiary unit SRC International’s hearing to be completed.

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah granted the prosecution’s request after taking into consideration its submission at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Monday (Aug 19).

Lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram had earlier requested that the 1MDB trial be allowed to resume on Sept 3, which was also endorsed by Datuk Seri Najib’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

However, Mr Sequerah said he would set the date to Aug 26 but is prepared to “make way” should both parties need more time to wrap up the SRC trial.

“I can maintain for the trial to start on (next) Monday. I’m prepared to be reasonable but if you need time... I can stand down and adjourn it for awhile or for half a day. The trial will proceed on Monday but I will hear you out on Thursday,” he said, in response to Tan Sri Shafee who said that he would be submitting the reason why the trial should begin on Sept 3.

Mr Najib is facing 21 charges of money laundering and four of abuse of power for receiving illegal transfers of about RM2.28 billion between 2011 and 2014.

This is his second trial after the first, involving SRC International Sdn Bhd, began in April.

Mr Najib maintains his innocence and says that the charges are politically motivated.