In 1MDB trial, Najib’s lawyer questions why certain evidence from foreign authorities not shared with defence

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — A lawyer acting for Datuk Seri Najib Razak in his 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial at the High Court today questioned why several documents obtained by investigators via Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) from other countries were not made accessible to the defence.

Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had posed the question to the 49th prosecution witness, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Senior Superintendent Nur Aida Arifin on the documents’ admissibility in court during cross-examination.

Under cross-examination, Muhammad Shafee asked Nur Aida about the discrepancies in some of the documents obtained from foreign authorities in her possession that were tendered in court as exhibits.

He then asked Nur Aida whether she still possessed the full set of documents, to which she replied in the affirmative.

Asked further on why the witness did not provide the documents’ entirety to the defence and the prosecution, Nur Aida said she concluded that those were irrelevant to the present case.

“I looked through the documents which were deemed irrelevant and briefed the prosecution team, which they then studied and later determined which documents should be presented in court,” she said.

The set of MLA documents was obtained from foreign authorities in Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Barbados.

Earlier, Muhammad Shafee also pointed out some of the “defects” such as said documents lacking the necessary stamp to discern them as certified true copies of their original and inconsistent stamping of pages.

Previously, Muhammad Shafee had delved into the procedure of how said evidence was gathered, asserting that it did not adhere to the existing convention.

In the 1MDB trial, Najib is facing 25 charges over the alleged misappropriation of more than RM2.28 billion of 1MDB funds which were said to have entered his private bank accounts at AmBank.

Najib has however claimed that these funds were donations to him from Saudi Arabia’s royalty.