Najib Trial: A-G’s Opening Statement

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First trial in our courts against a former Prime Minister, who for nearly a decade, occupied the most powerful office in the land and wielded near-absolute power.

  • Najib’s credit card charged US$130,625 for purchases at Chanel Honolulu
  • Payments for renovation works at Najib’s mansion at Jalan Langgak Duta and residence in Pekan
  • Cheques issued to various BN component parties

Extracts from Attorney-General Tommy Thomas’ opening speech:

“It is my duty and privilege to open the first trial in our courts against a former Prime Minister, who for nearly a decade, occupied the most powerful office in the land and wielded near-absolute power, which carries with it enormous responsibility, which my office intends to discharge in order to establish that the Accused is guilty of the seven (7) charges that he is facing before Your Lordship.

Bernama

“The Accused during his entire period in office as Prime Minister, at which time these offences were committed, simultaneously held the office of Minister of Finance, thereby combining maximum political power and control of the nation’s purse. In holding the office of the Prime Minister, and thus the nation’s highest elected public officer and Head of Government, the highest trust was reposed by our people in the Accused.  In such circumstances, the law demands the highest standards of care in the discharge by the Accused of his duties and obligations as trustee of public offices.

“Not being satisfied with the holding of the twin positions of Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Accused was also appointed the Chairman of the Board of Advisors of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB”) and Advisor Emeritus in its fully-owned subsidiary, SRC International Sdn Bhd. (“SRC International”). A common feature of both companies was that the true power in directing and managing their affairs did not lie with the Board of Directors, as is required by law and is the universal practice wherever companies carry on business, but in the person of the Accused by virtue of his holding these two positions.

“The operation of Article 8(1) of the Federal Constitution that “all persons are equal before the law” is amply demonstrated by this trial.  A former Prime Minister is charged under due process in the ordinary court of the land, like any other Accused. The Accused is not above the law and his prosecution and this trial should serve as precedents for all future holders of this august office.

“This trial is the first of many kleptocracy-1MDB-linked prosecutions. As required under Section 179 of the Criminal Procedure Code, I will state briefly the nature of the offences charged and the evidence by which the Prosecution proposes to prove the guilt of the Accused.

“To prove the prosecution case beyond a reasonable doubt, the Prosecution will be relying on direct and circumstantial evidence, both oral and documentary, to prove that the Accused, on the dates, times and manner as contained in the charges, is guilty of each of the charges against him.”

Thomas also said that evidence will show that in December 2014, Najib’s credit card was charged US$130,625 for expenses made at Chanel, an exclusive fashion store in Honolulu.

He added that evidence will establish that personal cheques were issued for, among others, payment for renovation works carried out at Najib’s residence at Jalan Langgak Duta, Kuala Lumpur, and in Pekan, Pahang. Cheques were also issued to various Barisan Nasional component political parties.

Concluding his opening speech, Thomas says: “The burden is now on the Prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the Accused, Mohd Najib bin Hj Abd Razak is guilty of the criminal charges preferred against him at this trial.”