Najib’s 1MDB trial to resume on May 18

(Bernama) – After a two-month break, the high-profile trial of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is facing corruption and money laundering charges involving RM2.3 billion of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds, will resume on May 18.

The trial, which has been closely followed by the international news media, had its last proceedings on March 13 before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

The court had previously set March 19-20, 23-27 and 30-31; April 1-30; and May 4-8, 11-22, inclusive of Fridays, for the 1MDB trial.

Other dates fixed were the entire month of June, July, August, September and October, including Fridays.

However, the proceedings were postponed several times due to the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) by the government following the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the latest development, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said the trial, which was scheduled for three days beginning next Wednesday (May 13), had been postponed again.

“Yesterday, we received an email from the High Court deputy registrar Farah Azura Mohd Saad notifying (us) that the trial was vacated to May 18,” he said via a WhatsApp message.

When the hearing resumes, defence lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is expected to continue with the cross-examination of the ninth prosecution witness, former 1MDB chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, who has been on the stand since Sept 23 last year.

Najib, 67, faces four charges of abusing his position to obtain gratification totalling RM2.3 billion in 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same money.