The court is set, but the trial is not

In a last-minute attempt on Feb 8, Najib had filed an application to stay his trial today

By DASHVEENJIT KAUR / Pic By BERNAMA

The nation’s most anticipated trial involving former Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak and the seven charges that are piled against him has hit a snag, following the Court of Appeal’s ruling to postpone it indefinitely yesterday.

It is reported that the three-men panel, Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi, Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah and Datuk Yew Jen Kie had unanimously agreed to allow the stay of trial, pending the outcome of Najib’s challenge against the prosecutor’s withdrawal of his certificate of transfer.

In a last-minute attempt on Feb 8, Najib had filed an application to stay his trial today, pending his appeal against the prosecution’s withdrawal of a certificate of transfer to shift the seven charges from the Sessions Court to the High Court.

No new trial date has been fixed for Najib’s seven charges in relation to the RM42 million.

The ex-PM currently has a total of 42 charges involving money laundering, corruption and power abuse against him from several separate cases.

Prior to the Court of Appeal’s ruling, the centre stage — Kuala Lumpur High Court in Jalan Duta — was undergoing preparations to house local and international media practitioners, as well as legal observers as the case is expected to garner massive press coverage.

Apart from the courtroom where Najib’s case is scheduled to take place, the court’s administrator had also allocated another separate viewing room for the media, as the space for the former is limited and on the first come, first serve basis.

Administrative officer Mohd Kamarul Mohd told The Malaysian Reserve that registration tables have been set up at the lobby, to allow issuance of access pass for the media.

“There will be two types of passes provided, one for the access to the main High Court room on level five where the trial will take place and that is limited on a first come, first serve basis.

“The other pass is the video link room pass for the access at level three where large projector screen will be provided for viewing, especially to those who have no access to the main courtroom,” Mohd Kamarul said.

However, no recording or live broadcast of the trial proceeding will be allowed.

A security officer who declined to be named said there has been no special briefing ahead of the trial, but the team is prepared to face an anticipated large crowds from Najib’s supporters, media and normal observers.

“But it all depends on what our superiors will tell us to do, whether there is a need to barricade the complex or otherwise,” the officer said.