The High Court has dismissed former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s application to strike out the charges in his corruption trial.
Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali disagreed that the charges should be deemed “defective in form and substance” and an abuse of court process.
He did not concur with the submission that there was a requirement for the prosecutors to specify the charges or these could be interpreted as defective.
He ruled that the charges against Najib were not structured in a way that could mislead or prejudice him, to the point he could not put up a proper defence.
Nazlan said the trial had proceeded for nine days, with 21 prosecution witnesses testifying and undergoing extensive cross-examination, and “there is no suggestion that the accused is misled or confused”.
The judge also said the prosecution had given many documents to the accused to raise any defence during the case, and that he could not claim prejudice.
Last Friday, Najib’s defence lawyers argued that the charges could prejudice the case as they lacked clarity and clashed with each other.
Defence lawyer Datuk Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin added the charges of corruption were at odds with each other and could not be tried concurrently with CBT.
Referring to the RM42mil at the heart of Najib’s charges, Kamarul Hisham said the money could not be both gratification and money obtained via a breach of trust.
Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram replied that the charges were not vague, as it should be read together with supplementary documents furnished by the prosecution as per Section 51A of Criminal Procedure Code.
He added that Parliament created specific laws for different crimes, so it was fair to bring charges under each law.
The defence also sought for the trial to be suspended until there is a final decision on Najib’s challenge against the charges.