KUALA LUMPUR: The Supreme Court here has rejected the offer of Najib Razaks to postpone the ongoing trial of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) pending a legal offer in a US court.
Najib Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s lawyer had previously told the court that his client was seeking to obtain the names of 1MDB officials who allegedly took bribes from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and its former director Tim Leissner.
“In the American court proceedings, where Leissner and Goldman Sachs pleaded guilty, Leissner actually admitted that he had paid bribes to some officials in 1MDB.
“They accepted the act of bribery and therefore we have filed a disclosure request and asked Leissner and Goldman Sachs to disclose the names of those who gave the bribe,” he said, adding that the request was made in accordance with the Code. of the United States was filed on November 17 last year.
Shafee said the disclosure of the names was important to the defense issue to show that the witnesses lack credibility and that they actually had instruments of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.
“The defense may also show that Jho Low, Leissner and Goldman Sachs had worked together to infiltrate and corrupt 1MDB and use the money from the company for various purposes.
“Upon receipt of the relevant documents on request, we also plan to recall several witnesses, including former 1MDB chief Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, the former prime minister’s special special officer for questioning.
“This (discovery) is extremely important because I asked Shahrol Azral why he just had to follow what Jho Low said.
“You will also find a rather shocking revelation from Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman (the current prosecution witness) because he was told he should follow Jho Low’s instructions,” he said.
All of this, he said, will have to do with whether all the characters have received illegal payments, which is the subject of disclosure in the Leissner and Goldman Sachs proceedings in the US
Shafee also asked the court to adjourn the 1MDB trial as the defense needed more time to prepare for Najib’s appeal hearing and sentencing in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case in the Court of Appeals.
“We are supposed to submit our submissions in writing by March 1,” Shafee said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said the prosecution’s concern was that the trial should continue and that the prosecution would not interfere in the application in the US as they were not parties to it.
“However, since applying to the US is important for the defense, we leave it to the court to decide whether the trial should be postponed or continued,” he added.
After hearing submissions from both parties, Supreme Court Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah subsequently rejected the request for adjournment, but released the trial dates set in April.
“The defense can remind any prosecution witness if he or she needs it, or if he or she has any information about it in a U.S. court. We only have these three days this week. I sympathize with your situation, but we must continue with the 1MDB corruption trial, the judge said.
The trial then proceeded with the questioning of the 10th prosecution witness, Hazem, by lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed.
Najib, 67, is facing four counts of using his position to take bribes totaling RM 2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 money laundering charges involving the same amount.
The trial continues.
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