The RM6.6 billion criminal breach of trust (CBT) trial of Najib Razak and former Treasury secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, scheduled for September and October this year, has been vacated to give way to two cases related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) involving the former prime minister.
The trial of the two criminal cases (1MDB and audit report) are currently ongoing.
High Court judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin vacated the dates for the CBT trial after deputy public prosecutor Nik Syahril Nik Ab Rahman informed the court that the witnesses and evidence to be presented at the trial are similar to that of the 1MDB case.
“If both trials (1MDB and CBT) are held at the same time, there is a possibility of overlapping evidence in this case and the 1MDB case.
“We believe that it is appropriate for the trial dates to be vacated and the case management to be held in December to enable both parties to update the status of the 1MDB case,” said Nik Syahril.
The prosecution’s application was not objected to by lawyers Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and K Kumaraendran, representing Najib and Irwan Serigar, respectively. Both were granted exemption from appearing in court today.
The court set Dec 9 for case management.
On Oct 9 last year, Jamil fixed 32 days on every working day in September and October 2021 except Fridays for the CBT trial.
On Oct 24, 2018, Najib, 67, and Irwan Serigar, 64, pleaded not guilty to six charges of CBT of RM6.6 billion in government funds involving payments to the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).
Both were jointly accused of committing all the offences at the finance ministry complex in Putrajaya between Dec 21, 2016, and Dec 18, 2017.
They were charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code read together with Section 34 of the same code which provides for a maximum of 20 years’ jail and whipping as well as a fine upon conviction.