Najib’s 1MDB trial adjourned as counsel, witness call in sick


The High Court here today adjourned Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial as lead counsel of the former prime minister and the ninth prosecution witness have called in sick.

Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah postponed the hearing after the matter was informed by senior deputy public prosecutor and former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram and Najib’s lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed.

Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was to have continued with the defence cross-examination of former chief executive officer of 1MDB Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, the ninth prosecution witness, on the 35th day of the trial today.

Sri Ram informed that Shahrol Azral, who has been on the stand from Sept 23, was unable to testify as he was not fit and would be on medical leave till tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Wan Aizuddin informed the court that the senior counsel Muhammad Shafee was given medical leave starting yesterday till tomorrow after being diagnosed with a severe throat infection.

“Yesterday, Muhammad Shafee attended a medical examination at a clinic in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Damansara here, where he was diagnosed with a severe throat infection.

“He was given MC starting yesterday till tomorrow. So, we are requesting for today’s trial to be adjourned and tomorrow’s trial date to be vacated,” he said.

The lawyer also produced the three-day medical certificate (MC) of Muhammad Shafee to the court.

This was the first time Najib’s 1MDB trial had been postponed because some members of the defence team had fallen ill.

On Monday the trial had to cut short to half-day as the witness was down with flu and the court set today to continue the proceedings.

Previously, the trial was postponed for the second time as Najib was given an MC due to eye infection.

Justice Sequerah set Dec 13 for case management for parties to refresh on development of new trial dates.

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.