Prosecution to call 70 witnesses in Najib, Mohd Irwan’s trial

By BERNAMA / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

The prosecution in the case of former Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak and former Treasury secretary general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah (picture), who are facing six counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving RM6.6 billion, will call 70 witnesses in the trial, scheduled in July this year.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Jamil Aripin told High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali that the prosecution had listed about 138 witnesses, but would only call half of them.

He also informed the court that the prosecution had served 70% of the documents pertaining to the case to the defence team and had requested for 1½ months to submit the balance as some of them were classified under the Official Secret Act.

“We will serve the remaining documents in due course as we need to declassify the documents. It would take 1½ months,” he said.

Mohd Nazlan set 28 days from July 8 to Aug 22 for the trial, except on Fridays, and ordered the prosecution to serve all the documents to the defence team by Feb 15.

Earlier, lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah representing Najib and Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent who acted for Mohd Irwan informed the court that pending the discovery of the documents, they would apply to recuse the judge as Mohd Nazlan had also heard Najib’s CBT and power abuse case involving SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Muhammad Shafee said this is because of the nexus of all these charges as all the witnesses may be the same from the office of PM and finance minister. He said there would be prejudice on the part of the judge in hearing the case.

Questioned by Mohd Nazlan whether the charges are different, Muhammad Shafee replied: “Yes, although the charges are different, but there was a nexus of all witnesses. (No matter) how trained the judge is, we are still human being.”

Earlier, Najib and Mohd Irwan maintained their not guilty pleas to six counts of CBT after the charges were read out separately to them.

As this was the first time the case was mentioned in the High Court, the charges had to be read out on the accused and their pleas were recorded again.

On Oct 25, Najib, 65, and Mohd Irwan, 61, pleaded not guilty to six counts of CBT when the case were brought before the Sessions Court.