Najib’s 1MDB trial postponed to Nov 21, witnesses unavailable

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial has been postponed to next Monday (Nov 21) following the unavailability of witnesses to testify for the day.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib informed High Court judge Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah that no witnesses were available to take the stand on Thursday.

“Three of them received a last-minute notice (and could not make it) while two were abroad,” the prosecutor said.

DPP Ahmad Akram also said although The Edge Media Group chairman Tan Sri Tong Kooi Ong was present at court and ready for cross-examination, Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who was supposed to conduct the cross-examination, was absent.

Lawyer Rahmat Hazlan, who is part of the defence team, confirmed that Muhammad Shafee was recuperating from an orthodontic treatment.

Justice Sequerah then adjourned the proceedings to Monday.

On Wednesday, Tong testified that he was “shown the door” by Najib after he suggested that fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low should be investigated and charged with stealing US$700mil from 1MDB.

The 43rd prosecution witness said The Edge faced consequences after it ran a series of investigative reports on 1MDB, including Tong being banned from leaving the country.

“I was also investigated by the Inland Revenue Board for money laundering and tax evasion and The Edge’s publication was suspended but that was lifted by the court,” he said.

Najib, 69, is on trial for 25 charges in total – four for abuse of power that allegedly brought him financial benefit to the tune of RM2.28bil; and 21 for money laundering involving the same amount of money.