Court can’t keep waiting for Shafee.
Najib Razak’s lawyers today received a stern reminder from High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah over attempts to postpone their cross-examination of witnesses in the ongoing 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial.
Earlier today Najib’s lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed asked Sequerah’s permission to delay the cross-examination of 40th prosecution witness Kok Tuck Cheong as lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was handling another court case.
The 67-year-old Kok is the former managing director of AmInvestment Bank.
Lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram told the court that the prosecution has been kept waiting adding that there are several prosecution witnesses still waiting to be cross-examined.
“We have stacked up witnesses. We have Mark Lim who has not completed giving his evidence, we have Mr Cheah, we have Mr Yap and I am not in a position to call my next witness, unless all these people are cleared up, otherwise I’m losing count,” said Sri Ram.
Sequerah then also expressed his frustration as he gave a firm instruction to Najib’s legal team, saying: “I think I have also accommodated as much as I can. From now on, if Tan Sri Shafee is unable to conduct cross-examination, Encik Wan, you have to step up. I have accommodated, we can’t keep reserving cross-examination and have the trial conducted by instalment over and over again.”
“I have accommodated as much as I can, I cannot go beyond this,” the judge said, saying that he would otherwise consider the defence team to have completed cross-examination if they do not carry out any cross-examination while waiting for Shafee to be available.
Najib was seen in the courtroom today wearing a light brown suit with a brown tie, while Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and his daughter Nooryana Najwa were present in the courtroom during the trial.