Convenience and better crowd control among the reasons for transfer request.
The prosecution team in the trial of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is facing seven charges involving power abuse, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering of SRC International Sdn Bhd, amounting to RM42 million, has requested the case to be heard at the Palace of Justice (PoJ) in Putrajaya.
This was informed by prominent lawyer Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah, who was appointed by the Attorney-General to lead the prosecution team in the case when the matter came up for mention in the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.
Sulaiman said the request was made to ensure the smooth trial of the case, including to avoid any inconvenience.
“At the Palace of Justice, there is strict monitoring and access is limited, hence can avoid congestion in the court area. besides, many of the prosecution witnesses are from the Putrajaya area.
“The courtrooms in the PoJ are bigger and the public will have better access to follow the trial,” he said.
“(Tan Sri Dr Muhammad) Shafee (Najib’s lead counsel) practically lives in Putrajaya anyway, so it’s not that we are trying to make it inconvenient for him.
“And most lawyers will tell you it’s much easier to travel to Putrajaya than coming here,” he added.
He said the prosecution would send a letter to Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim on the matter.
Shafee did not object to it.
Sulaiman told reporters after the case mention that the PoJ is a more suitable place compared to the court complex in Kuala Lumpur as security personnel would find it easier to manage the crowds he foresees will turn up for the trial.
“Lots of our documents and witnesses are coming from Putrajaya,” he added.
However, when talking to reporters outside the court complex, Shafee questioned the move to have the trial in Putrajaya since there had been no problems previously when the trial was being conducted in Kuala Lumpur.
He asked why there was the need to make the case a media showcase.