COVID-19: High profile trials postponed

by BERNAMA  / pic by ARIF KARTONO

High profile trials including that of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (picture) at the High Court here, have been postponed following the 14-day nationwide Movement Control Order announced by the government last night, as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Najib’s trial, involving the misappropriation of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds, which was scheduled to continue on March 19, and the corruption trial of former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, scheduled for continuation on March 23, have both been postponed until new dates are fixed.

Two other high profile corruption cases involving former Federal Territories Minister, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, have been similarly affected.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Ahmad Akram Gharib who is handling the 1MDB trial has confirmed that the case will not proceed on Thursday.

Meanwhile, DPP Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran and DPP Julia Ibrahim respectively confirmed the postponements of both trials faced by Tengku Adnan.

“The court will set a new date for case management after it reopens,” said Julia when contacted by Bernama.

Last night, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin declared that the Movement Control Order would take effect from March 18 to 31.

This is the first time in the country’s history that such an order has been made.

Meanwhile, Federal Court Chief Registrar, Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh, in a statement said that all courts across the country would be closed from tomorrow until March 31, in compliance with the order. 

He said civil and criminal trials and hearings had been postponed, with new dates to be announced in due course.

However, he said, if there was a need to file a new case, the relevant investigating officer would need to provide advance notice to Magistrates and Sessions Court judges on duty, to enable the court to be ready.

In reference to bailable offences, the relevant State Court Director would need to facilitate the processing of bail, as normal.

“Remand applications under section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code, section 259 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and the Immigration Act 1959/1963 will go on as normal, in accordance with work schedules already in place,” he added.