1MDB trial postponed again due to Najib’s eye problem


The High Court here today adjourned Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial after the former prime minister called in sick again due to swollen eyes.

Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s application to postpone the trial on medical grounds and it was also not objected by the prosecution team.

Briefing the judge, Muhammad Shafee said earlier this morning Najib visited the International Specialist Eye Center (ISEC) here as the swelling in both his eyes became worse and the doctor suspected it was due to conjunctivitis.

“However, the doctor said it (conjunctivitis) could not be so often, so he could be allergic to certain things and it needed to be investigated.

“Tomorrow morning he might have to do a full blood test and in the evening he is attending a by-election campaign in Johor Bahru…but if the (eyes) condition is persistent…it looks like he might have to cancel that too,” he said.

Senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram did not object to the application.

Muhammad Shafee also handed to the court a copy of Najib’s medical certificate and a microscopic picture of the former prime minister’s swollen eyes.

“Only three of us have got this picture. I hope it is protected so this would not go on the internet and become a subject of Halloween.

“My client wanted to come with his oversized dark glasses but the swell was beyond that; it was too big…so he could not make it. He apologised to the court for the inconvenience,” he said.

Sri Ram and Muhammad Shafee then jointly suggested to continue the trial on Monday on the usual schedule, but from Tuesday onwards to start at 9.30am and end at 6pm on all three days until Thursday for a period of two weeks.

Justice Sequerah agreed to it.

Towards the end of the proceedings, Muhammad Shafee requested from the prosecution 1MDB minutes of meetings from 2009 to 2015.

In response to this, Sri Ram said it was not a problem and the prosecution will provide whatever they have in their possession.

This is the second time the trial had been postponed due to Najib’s eye problem. Previously he had contracted conjunctivitis.

Najib, 66, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

When the trial continues on Monday, the defence will continue its cross-examination of former chief executive officer of 1MDB, Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi.