The judge ruled that Najib’s right to a fair trial is not compromised by the refusal of the officer to be interviewed
pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
THE High Court in Kuala Lumpur (KL) has dismissed an application by former Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak to compel a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer to be interviewed by his defence team before testifying in the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial.
In a report by Bernama, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ruled that Najib’s right to a fair trial was not compromised by the refusal of assistant commissioner Mohd Nasharudin Amir to be interviewed, as the witness is under oath even when subpoenaed.
“The intended witness is neither a prosecution witness nor offered to the defence. The fact that he is a public officer and the former investigating officer for another case does not change this position,” the judge was quoted as saying in the report.
Mohd Nasharudin was an investigating officer in Najib’s RM2.28 billion 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) case.
Meanwhile, ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram told the court he was informed that the defence will not be calling Australian document expert Dr Stevens Strach due to an impasse relating to the terms of Dr Strach’s appointment.
Lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah confirmed this and said they have not been provided with any report or findings by Dr Strach from his examination conducted on Feb 11 and 12, apart from his preliminary report.
“We will therefore not be calling Dr Strach to testify,” said Muhammad Shafee.
Meanwhile, Sithambaram said the prosecution had no issue for Najib to inspect the original copy of the audio recording released by the MACC earlier this year, but reserved the right to object to the admissibility of the recording on grounds of relevancy, necessity or any other grounds as allowed by law.
The audio recording allegedly involved leakage of information from the Attorney General’s Chambers to Najib when he was the PM, together with several other recordings of phone conversations in connection to investigations into the 1MDB and SRC International scandals.
On another matter, the prosecution said they will be providing the defence with MACC statements of witnesses they could not trace, including SRC International MD and CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho.
In response to this, another lawyer, Harvinderjit Singh, said they will be reviewing the statements.
Muhammad Shafee also informed the court that former Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali was set to testify in the trial yesterday.
He said, however, Mohamed Apandi’s mother was unwell and the former AG had requested to testify at a later date as he intends to visit his mother in Kelantan. Najib was making his defence on seven charges of misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International funds, comprising three counts of criminal breach of trust, three counts of money laundering and one count of abuse of position in relation to the SRC funds.