KUALA LUMPUR — The prosecution in Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial has complained to the High Court that the former prime minister and his legal team were making comments in the media about the ongoing case.
Ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram said Najib, through his lawyers, had released a media statement yesterday about the case that touched on issues which the court was hearing.
“(In their) media statement, there was a direct attack against us (the prosecution) in which they said we suppressed evidence and failed to deliver to them details of five transactions in the accused’s (Najib) bank account from 2011 to 2012.
“With respect, the accused must conduct his trial in the court, not in public. It is not proper for me to respond in public as well,” he said.
Sri Ram said the defence brought up four “purported” letters from an individual known as Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud at yesterday’s press conference, which they say proved the purported Arab donation which Najib claimed to have received.
“The letters have been produced in the SRC International trial,” he said, adding that the trial and appellate courts in that case had rejected Najib’s Arab donation defence.
He also said if the defence wanted to try its case before the media and bring up issues that have been rejected by the previous court, the prosecution might move the court to issue a gag order to bar discussions on the present trial.
Lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohamed told the court that fellow counsel Shafee Abdullah would respond on the matter on Wednesday.
“However, I want to object to the prosecution’s bringing up of Justice Nazlan’s judgment (in the SRC International case). The media statement does not touch on his findings,” Wan Aizuddin said.
Justice Nazlan Mohd Ghazali was the presiding judge in the SRC International trial who convicted and sentenced Najib to 12 years’ imprisonment, which he is presently serving, and a fine of RM210 million.
Trial judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah said he will hear from Shafee on the matter tomorrow.
Najib is standing trial on 25 charges of abuse of power and money laundering over alleged 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion deposited into his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.
The former prime minister was present in court today.