High Court rejects Najib’s bid to postpone ongoing 1MDB trial

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – The Malaysian High Court rejected Najib Razak’s bid to postpone the ongoing 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial pending a legal bid in a United States’ (US) court.

Najib’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah earlier told the court his client was seeking to get the names of 1MDB officials that allegedly received bribes from Goldman Sachs Group Inc and its former director Tim Leissner.

“In the proceedings in the US court, where Leissner and Goldman Sachs pleaded guilty, Leissner actually said and admitted to the fact that he paid in terms of bribes to several officials in 1MDB.

“They admitted to the act of bribery and we therefore filed a discovery application and asked Leissner and Goldman Sachs to reveal the names of those that they have bribed,” he said, adding that the application which was made pursuant to the United States Code (USC) was filed on November 17 last year.

Muhammad Shafee said the disclosure of the names was relevant to the defence’s case to show that the witnesses lack credibility and that there were in fact instruments of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

Muhammad Shafee was also seeking for the court to defer the 1MDB trial as the defence needed more time to prepare for the hearing of Najib’s appeal against his conviction and sentence in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case at the Court of Appeal.

Meanwhile, Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said the prosecution’s concern was for the trial to go on and that the prosecution would not interfere in the application in the US as they were not a party in it.

After hearing submissions from both parties, High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah then rejected the application for the postponement, but vacated the trial dates set in April.