Peter Anthony’s forgery trial waits on Najib as witness

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The prosecution in the forgery trial of former Sabah infrastructure development minister Peter Anthony is hoping that Najib Razak will turn up on May 19 to give evidence and expedite its case.

Deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin said the former prime minister had given his undertaking to take the stand provided his 1MDB trial is vacated on that day.

“We have served the subpoena on him and he has also given us his witness statement for this (forgery) trial,” he said.

Wan Shaharuddin said the prosecution was expected to close its case by July.

“We have one more witness after Najib, then the defence will recall some of our earlier witnesses to further cross-examine them,” he said.

Najib’s 1MDB trial is set to resume on May 17 until May 20. The case adjourned on Feb 18 with the company’s former chief executive officer Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman, the 10th prosecution witness, still on the stand.

At the same time, the hearing for Najib’s appeal against conviction and sentence in relation to SRC International has been fixed for May 18 in the Court of Appeal.

Najib’s 1MDB trial is before a High Court while Anthony’s is before a sessions court. According to judicial protocol, proceedings in the High Court take precedence unless judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah adjourns the 1MDB case.

Najib is standing trial in the High Court on 25 charges for abuse of power and money laundering over alleged 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion deposited into his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.

Anthony, whose trial began last month, is charged with ‘using as genuine a forged document’ while he was the managing director of Asli Jati Engineering Sdn Bhd.

This was in relation to a purported collaboration with Universiti Malaysia Sabah to fund and set up a mechanical & electrical technical training centre via direct negotiation in July 2014.

He was minister when Warisan ruled the Sabah government from May 2018 till September 28 last year. – FMT