CBT trial of Najib-Irwan Serigar in Sept 2021, prosecution to call 50 witnesses

by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA

THE trial of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (picture) and former Treasury secretary-general, Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah on six charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving RM6.6 billion of government funds will be starting in September 2021 to make way for the completion of two criminal cases of the former Prime Minister, with the prosecution expected to call 50 witnesses.

High Court Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin fixed the trial dates after allowing Najib’s counsel, Nur Syahirah Hanapiah, to clear all trial dates set for next year before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

“Datuk Seri Najib is facing two trials namely 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case and the audit report tampering case before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah and Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan respectively.

“The trial for this case is expected to commence on Nov 9, Datuk Seri Najib is now on trial in the 1MDB case in which the dates have been set until June 2021,”  he said.

Justice Muhammad Jamil fixed the new hearing for 32 days on every working day in September and October 2021 except Friday.

“The application of the first accused’s (Najib) counsel to vacate all trial dates before the Nov 9 trial was allowed to give way to hearing criminal cases involving the first accused,” he said.

Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Saiful Hazmi Mohd Saad told the court that the prosecution is expected to call 50 witnesses for the trial.

Saiful Hazmi also said the case had been transferred from High Court 3 (Justice Mohd Nazlan) to be heard before Justice Muhammad Jamil.

“The case was transferred as instructed via a letter received by the prosecution from High Court deputy registrar on Oct 7 following administrative issues,” he said.

The court also fixed January 6 next year for case management for parties to announce any new developments on the two cases.

Najib was exempted from today’s proceedings as he is still undergoing the 14-day self-quarantine after returning from Sabah while Mohd Irwan Serigar who was represented by counsel Datuk K. Kumaraendran was present in court.

When met by reporters after the proceeding, Saiful Hazmi said the witnesses for the criminal breach of trust case involved almost the same witnesses as the 1MDB case.

On Oct 24 2018, Najib, 67, and Mohd Irwan Serigar, 63, pleaded not guilty on six charges of criminal breach of trust when the case was mentioned at the Sessions Court.

For the first charge, they were jointly charged with committing CBT on a RM1.2 billion government property as civil servants namely Finance Minister and Treasury secretary-general respectively in their capacity of being entrusted with dominion on the fund belonging to the Malaysian government.       

According to the second charge, Najib and Mohd Irwan were jointly charged in the same positions with committing CBT on RM655 million belonging to the Malaysian government.

For the third charge, they were jointly accused in the same capacity as civil servants and holding the same positions with committing CBT on RM220 million under “Belanja Mengurus di bawah Maksud B11 Perkhidmatan Am Perbendaharaan, Aktiviti 021700 KL International Airport Berhad (KLIAB)” that was entrusted to them.

Both of them were jointly charged in the same positions for committing CBT on RM1.3 billion allocation under Federal Consolidated Fund under “Maksud B11 Perkhidmatan Am Perbendaharaan, Aktiviti 020500 Subsidi Dan Bantuan Tunai”, belonging to the Government of Malaysia.

For the fifth and sixth charges, they were jointly accused in the same positions for committing CBT on CNY1,950,000,000 (RM1.26 billion) and RM2 bililon respectively belonging to the Malaysian government.

Najib and Mohd Irwan Serigar were jointly accused of committing all the offences at the Finance Ministry Complex, Putrajaya between Dec 21, 2016 and Dec 18, 2017.

They were charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code  read together with Section 34 of the same code which provides for a maximum of 20 years jail  and whipping as well as fine upon conviction.