SRC trial: Hearing adjourned after subpoenaed witness’ no-show; Najib heads to Istana Negara

Kenneth Tee
Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court February 25, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption trial was adjourned early today after the defence failed to complete the finalisation of a witness statement for a company director they had subpoenaed today.

Najib’s lawyer Farhan Reed informed the High Court that the witness was therefore not present in court as the defence wants to raise several issues with the witness after obtaining several other witness statements in the case recently.

The key individuals whose statements were recently acquired by the defence were Low Taek Jho, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and Jerome Lee.

“We undertake to supply the finalised statement to prosecutors by today. I apologise for this.

“He was supposed to come at 9am but that depended on the finalisation of his draft witness statement.

“He would have been here if the witness statement was finalised,” he said.

The eighth defence witness, Putra Perdana Bhd group managing director Datuk Rosman Abdullah, was supposed to take the stand earlier today.

Mohd Nazlan then ordered the defence to provide the finalised witness statement to the prosecution by 5pm today, after ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram raised the issue of difficulties in preparing the prosecution’s cross-examination from late statement submission by the defence.

“So we need certain commitment from defence to fix time for today in delivering the statement,” Mohd Nazlan said, to which Farhan said the defence ‘anticipated’ to do so by 5pm.

Najib to meet Agong at Istana Negara

Later, Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah also told Mohd Nazlan his client had to rush to an Umno meeting at the party’s headquarters in the city centre before heading to Istana Negara later in the day.

“Datuk Seri Najib is required to leave the court premises to PWTC by 10.30am for a meeting before heading to Istana,” he said.

Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa confirmed today speculation that his party has formed a coalition with several others and will be having an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong today.

Dr Mahathir announced his resignation as prime minister and Bersatu chairman yesterday amid a whirlwind of explosive events, including the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.

Muhammad Shafee also informed the court the defence will be calling Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Assistant Commissioner Mohd Nasharudin Amir to testify on Thursday.

Mohd Nasharudin was formerly an investigating officer in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) probe.

He also said several other witnesses such as former MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, former Attorney General Tan Sri Apandi Ali, Najib’s former private secretary Tan Sri Mohd Shukry Salleh and MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya would be subpoenaed to testify in court.

With that, Mohd Nazlan adjourned the trial for the day and for proceedings to resume tomorrow, with Rosman to take the witness stand at 2.30pm.

Najib is on trial over seven charges related to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Three are for criminal breach of trust over a total RM42 million of SRC International funds while entrusted with its control as the prime minister and finance minister then, three more are for laundering the RM42 million, and the last is for abusing the same positions for self-gratification of the same sum.


 

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