Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial adjourned until next Tuesday as the former prime minister is afflicted with an eye infection.
Najib’s lead lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, informed High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah that his client was ill when proceedings were set to begin today.
“I had a call at 7.15am from my client (Najib) and his wife. Conjunctivitis has returned and I think it’s because of the outing that he went for yesterday, and the haze does not help (his condition),” said Shafee.
Today was scheduled to be the seventh day of Najib’s 1MDB trial.
Shafee told the judge that Najib wanted to see a doctor as early as possible today, but the specialist based at the Gardens Midvalley could only attend to him at 10.30am.
“Conjunctivitis is very contagious, I suppose tomorrow’s hearing is out of the question,” Shafee said.
Yesterday, lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram told the judge that they will be recalling five or six previous witnesses today for identification.
“We cannot do the identification in the absence of the accused. We have nothing to do but wait for the medical report,” Sri Ram told the court.
Sequerah noted that it was “unfortunate”, adding that the trial would either resume tomorrow or next Tuesday depending on the length of medical leave issued. Next Monday is Malaysia Day, which is a public holiday.
Najib’s 1MDB trial is currently scheduled to run from Monday to Thursday every week until mid-November except for public holidays.
The judge today suggested that the 1MDB trial also be heard on two Fridays to make up for lost time, but both the prosecution and defence said they have other court cases fixed on Fridays.
It was later confirmed that the 1MDB trial will resume next Tuesday as a two-day medical certificate had been issued.
This is the second time that Najib has been unable to attend trial due to an eye ailment.
He was also diagnosed with conjunctivitis in both eyes.at the tail-end of the SRC International case. The scheduled trial on August 14 had to be paused then for three days to allow Najib to recuperate.