Selangor Journal
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (centre right) arrives at the Federal Court in Putrajaya, on August 16, 2022. — Picture by REUTERS

Court warns Najib’s defence team no more delay questioning witnesses in 1MDB trial

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — High Court Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah has warned Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s defence team in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case that the court would no longer allow reserved cross-examination of any witnesses as the trial had been pending for some time now. 

The judge said this when counsel Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed asked to reserve cross-examining 40th prosecution witness, former AmInvestment Bank Berhad managing director Kok Tuck Cheong as lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was not in court.

Wan Aizuddin told the court that Muhammad Shafee had another case before Judicial Commissioner Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid. 

Senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram objected to the request.

“My Lord, the prosecution cannot call new witnesses because three witnesses are still on the witness stand. We have witnesses that have been stacked up.  

“We all have to adjust ourselves. I have pending trials and I have asked the judge to vacate the trial, we are also making adjustments,” said Sri Ram.

At this juncture, Judge Sequerah who was unhappy with the request by the defence said that in the future, if Muhammad Shafee could not conduct the cross-examination, then Wan Aizuddin had to do it.

“You cannot go beyond that. This trial by instalments, over and over again, with witness reserves, I have accommodated as much as I can.  From now on, if Tan Sri Shafee cannot do the cross-examination, you (Wan Aizuddin) have to step up. 

“You all (Shafee & Co) have a big team and you (Wan Aizuddin) are more than capable to do it as you are familiar with the facts of the case. This is how the trial will be run from now henceforth. In the future, if Tan Sri Shafee is not available (and no one to cross), I will take it as cross-examination is done and continue with re-examination,” said the judge.

Wan Aizuddin said the would inform Muhammad Shafee of the matter and would act accordingly. 

Najib, 69, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM2.3 billion belonging to 1MDB and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The hearing continues at 2.30pm.

— Bernama

Top Picks

Pan Gon not pressing panic button over crock list

Federal Territories Dept to resolve Labuan, KL foreign immigrants’ issue

Parallel pathway issue: Solution framework sent to AGC — Minister