Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah rejected appeals by the prosecution to delay the start of the 1MDB trial, saying it was the third time the request had been lodged.
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has been ordered by Malaysia’s High Court to stand trial in August for his alleged involvement in the embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars from a state development fund.
Najib was slapped with 25 charges of money laundering and abuse of power in September over transactions totalling 2.28 billion Malaysian ringgit from 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad).
The prosecution has been having a difficult time in proving Najib’s alleged involvement in a related trial, the SRC International case which would have bearing on the 1MDB trials. Since the trials commenced various crucial information have come to light.
- AmBank officers have confirmed that Najib did receive monies deemed donation from a Saudi prince. It’s also been alleged that Bank Negara Malaysia was fully aware of the inward coming funds transfers and made no attempted to stop it.
- Najib had no direct involvement in handling funds of the company. He was also not the authorised signatory to any of SRC International cheques.
- Funds transfers into Najib’s personal accounts and subsequent outward transfers was handled by Nik Faisal, SRC International CEO who did not inform the board and committed payment fraud.
- Najib was never formally appointed as a board advisor and also didn’t attend board meetings.
The Najib-1MDB case is highly likely to use many of the information obtained from the SRC case and is likely to weaken the prosecution’s case further. The entire case hangs on monies being “stolen” by Najib allegedly from 1MDB using his capacity as the prime minister. The prosecution will have to prove the alleged theft.
The 25 charges stem from transactions ranging between 49 million ringgit and 2 billion ringgit, which were allegedly transferred as bribes to Najib’s personal account between February 2011 and December 2014.