Case has been going on for too long.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak can argue to have his money laundering case involving RM27mil of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds dropped if the prosecution is not prepared to proceed with the trial this September, the High Court said.
Justice K Muniandy said the defence could apply for a discharge and acquittal (DAA) or a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) if the hearing of the case was still not taking place.
The judge then vacated the hearing dates previously fixed by Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan (who has been elevated to the Court of Appeal) and fixed a five-day hearing for Sept 17-19, 23 and 24.
Earlier, Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah sought a DAA from the court saying that the case had been going on for too long.
“It has been (fixed) for 26 days for case management alone before Justice Mohamed Zaini and for four days of case management before you (Justice Muniandy).
“We can see the difficulty of the prosecution in making up its mind. It shows that the charge can be regarded as groundless and therefore an order of DAA is, in fact, in order.
“In light of this, I seek a DAA for the three charges before you,” Muhammad Shafee said.
DPP Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul objected to Muhammad Shafee’s request.
He said the prosecution was only seeking time to consider the representation sent by Najib to the Attorney General’s Chambers.
“I understand that the case has been (ongoing) since 2019. But I am instructed to seek another case management date.
“I cannot agree to what Muhammad Shafee is asking for,” he said.
Muhammad Shafee replied that it would be a miscarriage of justice to delay the case any further.
“I think the least we can do is DNAA. If they (want) to proceed with the case, they can just charge (my client again),” he added.
Justice Muniandy then said the court would proceed with new hearing dates and the defence would be at liberty to apply for a DAA or a DNAA should the trial not begin.
He faces a maximum fine of RM5mil or imprisonment of up to five years, or both, if convicted. – The Star