Najib Razak's 1MDB-linked graft trial ordered to proceed by Malaysia federal court

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak arriving at the High Court in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on March 21, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

KUALA LUMPUR - The trial of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak for alleged criminal breach of trust and abuse of power over money linked to state investment fund 1MDB was on Wednesday (March 27) ordered to proceed.

Najib was taken to court for the first time on July 4 last year and charged over RM42 million (S$14 million) belonging to former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) unit SRC International.

The trial was set to run from Feb 12 to March 29, but was twice shelved by the Court of Appeal until the Federal Court decides on four appeals filed by Najib's defence.

The stay was appealed by the prosecution. On Wednesday, it was overruled by the Federal Court, which said the trial may proceed in the High Court, reported the Malay Mail .

Chief Justice Richard Malanjum said the seven-judge panel at the Federal Court was unanimous in its view that "the Court of Appeal had no jurisdiction to grant a stay of proceedings".

"As such, we set aside the order of the stay and now we remit this matter to the High Court for proper action," he was quoted by the Malay Mail as saying.

The Federal Court will hear the four appeals by Najib's defence on April 4.

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