News Article

Najib called in 1MDB trial to defend himself

Former prime minister to lay out arguments in December in $10m money laundering case

In a claimed $10 million money laundering case related to SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd, the Malaysian High Court on Monday ordered former Prime Minister Najib Razak to present his defence.

Procedure indicates that Najib is not acquitted by the court and the prosecutor has made a strong case.

High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said that prima facie has been identified by the prosecution team, headed by Attorney General Tommy Thomas.

The ruling came after 57 witnesses were called by prosecutors during a period of 60 days.

Najib faces three money laundering charges, three criminal charges of breach of trust and one of $10 million abuse of power in transfers from SRC International to his personal bank accounts.

In response to the defence’s statement that Najib was unaware of the transactions, Judge Mohd Nazlan said some 15 checks were released from the personal bank accounts of Najib, raising suspicions that Najib was unaware of the source of the funds.

On a date to be determined later, the judge ruled, Najib will have to enter a defence on all seven charges.

Najib’s lead counsel, Shafee Abdullah, told reporters that the former prime minister has three choices: practice his right to remain silent, provide unsworn testimony from the dock without being cross-examined or take the witness stand and provide sworn proof.

Najib informed the court after the decision that he preferred to make a sworn statement, open to cross-examination.

The court has set for Najib’s prosecution trial on Dec. 3-4 and Dec. 9 to Dec. 19, after which the jury will make decisions on the seven counts of guilty or not.

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