Najib claims trial to CBT and abuse of power charges

Bail set at RM1m with 2 sureties, and both his personal and diplomatic passports impounded


Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak claimed trial to three charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and one abuse of power following investigations into multimillion ringgit transactions related to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

The former prime minister (PM) pleaded not guilty to all four charges at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Sofian Abdul Razak set bail of RM1 million with two sureties, and both his personal and diplomatic passports impounded.

The 64-year-old Najib, who spent Tuesday night at the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) lock-up in Putrajaya, was brought to the Kuala Lumpur Court complex yesterday morning to face three CBT charges and one bribery allegation for the total amount of RM42 million related to the former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The RM42 million was part of the RM4 billion Retirement Fund Inc loan to SRC International.

Najib was initially brought to the Sessions Court where the charges were read in front of Judge Datuk Zainal Abidin Kamarudin.

Attorney General Tommy Thomas then sought to transfer the case to the High Court. Zainal Abidin allowed the request and no plea was taken at the Sessions Court.

Najib pleaded not guilty when all the four charges were read again in front of Mohd Sofian.

Thomas had requested a bail of RM1 million for each of the charges. But Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had objected to the amount and proposed a bail of between RM500,000 and RM800,000, claiming his client has been an exemplary citizen.

The court then set bail at RM1 million to be paid in two separate tranches. The first RM500,000 was paid yesterday, while the remainder is to be paid no later than 3pm on July 9.

Judge Mohd Sofian also granted an interim gag order against the media, applied by Muhammad Shafee despite strong argument by Thomas.

Appearing in a dark blue suit and under very tight security, Najib was earlier seen waving to the crowd who had gathered since early morning to follow the proceedings.

The police had increased the security around the courthouse, scanning the surroundings and managing the crowd, largely Najib’s supporters.

They chanted “Hidup Najib” and held up placard with text “#FreeNajib”.

Meanwhile, Thomas was heckled by Najib’s supporters, demanding him to speak in Bahasa Malaysia when he was about to give a press conference at the court’s lobby. He and his team decided to walk away.

The former PM’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who was absent in the morning, was seen at the court complex at around 2pm.

When met outside the courtroom after posting bail, Najib said the trial would be a good time for him to clear his name and the trial would be conducted in a fair manner in accordance with the rule of law.

“If this is the price I have to pay for 42 years of service to the people and country, I accept,” he said.

He left the Court Complex at about 3.25pm with his wife Rosmah and children.

The High Court also set Aug 8 this year for case management, including the decision on the gag order and the trial dates.