Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak briefly went missing from the Court of Appeal on Friday (March 15).
It was later revealed that the former premier had gone to the washroom without informing anyone, including his lawyers.
Earlier, Justice Zabariah Mohd Yusof had noticed that Najib was not present in court during his lawyer Harvinderjit Singh’s oral submissions.
She then inquired Harvinderjit about his client’s whereabouts. The latter turned around and upon noticing that Najib was not in court, told Zabariah that he would check.
Zabariah then ordered for a short adjournment of the proceedings while Harvinderjit searched for Najib.
After Najib returned, proceedings resumed and his counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah apologised to the bench.
“We apologise. Najib did not realise (he needs to inform the court before going to the washroom),” he was reported as saying.
Shafee then informed the bench that he had explained to Najib the importance of informing his lawyers to indicate whether proceedings could be adjourned to allow him to use the toilet.
When met after the proceedings, the lawyer said Najib had tried to be polite when he quietly left for the washroom.
“He is not a lawyer. He thought he was being polite by going quietly to the toilet and not disturbing proceedings. He did not know he cannot leave. Not even for a minute (without asking permission),” Shafee was quoted as saying.
The Court of Appeal was hearing Najib’s four appeals in relation to his ongoing case involving SRC International.
The former premier is facing seven charges for criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering involving RM42 million from the firm.
Meanwhile, Shafee also said his hand felt better following the injury sustained when his guard dog playfully jumped on him, causing the senior lawyer to fall, and proceedings to be adjourned.