Former premier Najib Abdul Razak’s RM2.28 billion 1MDB trial, which was scheduled for tomorrow and Friday, has been postponed to March 2.
Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah had allowed the application by the accused’s lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah this afternoon.
Met later, DPP Ahmad Akram Gharib confirmed this.
Earlier during Najib’s separate RM42 million SRC International trial today, Shafee had informed Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali that the defence would seek a postponement of the RM2.28 billion 1MDB trial before Sequerah.
Shafee said this is because his son is getting married on Feb 20 this week and that he (Shafee) needs to take part in the wedding preparations in Penang, among others.
His son Muhammad Farhan is also a lawyer and is often spotted with his father.
“(Initially), I did not know that I would be involved (in the wedding preparations). It (has to do with) Penang Malay culture, ‘tarian semarak’.
“Luckily, I am not the one to walk (down the aisle),” Shafee told the judge.
The veteran lawyer had walked down the aisle three times in the past, and his marital status became part of the argument to reclaim his passport to travel to Australia for work purposes last year.
Shafee’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh had told the Court of Appeal that his client was not a flight risk because “he has three wives, his family are all here. There is no reason for him not to come back”.
Shafee is facing two charges of money-laundering involving RM9.5million that he allegedly received from Najib.
He was also charged under the Income Tax Act with two counts of making false declarations to the Inland Revenue Board by not including the RM9.5 million in his tax filing for the year.
The 68-year-old lawyer’s soon to be wed son is also part of his defence team.
On Nov 13 last year, Najib’s RM2.28 billion 1MDB trial was postponed as both key prosecution witnesses, former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and Shafee, were on medical leave (MC).
The hearing is now at the prosecution stage with Shafee still in the midst of cross-examining Shahrol.
The trial before Sequerah concerns Najib’s 21 charges of money laundering and four counts of abuse of power in relation to RM2.28 billion of 1MDB funds. – Malaysiakini