Asia Malaysia Biggest financial crime case starts next month with Najib in the...

Biggest 1MDB financial crime case starts next month with Najib in the box

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A judge denied prosecutors application to further delay the much awaited trial, setting the date to August 19.

High Court judge Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah rejected the application by government prosecutors who wanted the 1MDB trial to start after the SCR International trial. Both cases involve , the fallen Prime Minister accused of money laundering, abuse of power among others.

Thus the criminal trial against Najib related to 1MDB will start this Aug 19 irrespective of whether the hearing against the former premier ends by then.

The SRC trial is no where its end with witnesses still taking the stand and cross-examinations by the defense lawyers yet to start for some witnesses.

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News reports say this is the third time the prosecution had asked Collin to postpone 1MDB hearing dates.

They want to make way for the trial of seven charges against Najib for abuse of power, corruption and money laundering.

The SRC trial is on its 33rd day and Najib’s lawyers are gear up to further cross-examine the company’s director Suboh Md Yassin.

The latter’s testimony is helping to boost the former premier’s defence in his abuse of power, corruption and money laundering trial involving RM42 million from the company, says Najib’s lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

The counsel implied irregularities in the witness’s statements and forged signatures of the witness on documents will prove Najib is innocent.

The trial is before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

Najib is facing 7 charges relating to RM42m involving , a former 1MDB subsidiary, one for abuse of power, three for criminal breach of trust (CBT) and three for money laundering charges.

Last week Suboh says he believes the company’s CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil who is on the run has forged his signatures on 17 banking instructions between 2014 and 2015.

Najib’s defense is saying this is proof Najib did not give instructions in the SRC money siphoning case and that Nik Faisal, though he did not act alone, was cheating the Prime Minister altogether.

Suboh testified he was not aware of the related transactions, which involved authorisation of transfers millions of ringgit linked to the accounts of SRC International, subsidiary Gandingan Mentari, and CSR partner Ihsan Perdana, among others.

But prosecutors are expected to probe him further in their re-examination of his testomony regarding the role of the CEO.

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