Najib, Irwan’s CBT trial vacated to give way to 1MDB cases

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

KUALA LUMPUR – The trial of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah (picture) who are facing six charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) totalling RM6.6 billion, scheduled for September and October this year, has been vacated to give way to two cases related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) involving the former prime minister.

The trial of the two criminal cases (1MDB and audit report) are currently ongoing.

High Court Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin vacated the dates for the CBT trial after deputy public prosecutor Nik Syahril Nik Ab Rahman informed the court that the witnesses and evidence to be presented at the trial are similar to that of the 1MDB case.

“If both trials (1MDB and CBT) are held at the same time, there is a possibility of overlapping evidence in this case and the 1MDB case.

“We believe that it is appropriate for the trial dates to be vacated and the case management to be held in December to enable both parties to update the status of the 1MDB case,” said Nik Syahril.

The prosecution’s application was not objected to by lawyers Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Datuk K. Kumaraendran, representing Najib and Mohd Irwan Serigar respectively. Both Najib and Mohd Irwan Serigar were granted exemption from appearing in court today.

The court set Dec 9 for case management.

On Oct 9 last year, Justice Muhammad Jamil fixed 32 days on every working day in September and October 2021 except Friday for the CBT trial.

On Oct 24, 2018, Najib, 67, and Mohd Irwan Serigar, 64, pleaded not guilty to six charges of CBT of RM6.6 billion in government funds involving payments to International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

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.