Kuala Lumpur—While former Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he is open to a live broadcast of his 1MDB trial, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, has said the matter is up to the courts, however, she also said, “We don’t want to make it as a circus.” (sic)
Mr Najib’s trial is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, April 3, because of his involvement in the 1MDB scandal, and he stands accused of the abuse of RM42 million (S$14 million) in 1MDB funds from August 2011 and March 2015 during his term as Prime Minister.
On Sunday, he wrote on his Facebook page, “I will support the live broadcast because it will help transparency and ensure the “rule of law” is complied with.
The people have the right to know the truth.”
A petition asking for the trial to be aired live was started by Karim Yasin around nine months ago. It was addressed to Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo and has been signed by over 40,000 people.
Mr Gobind had already declined Mr Karim’s request that Mr Najib’s trial be broadcast live earlier.
Free Malaysia Today reported that certain legal practitioners were aware that airing the broadcast live could possibly undermine the proceeding’s integrity.
Malay Mail reports that Mr Karim’s arguments for airing the trial live are as follows: “public interest in the case, transparency, to avoid dissemination of ‘fake news’ by Najib ‘supporters and goons’, the smooth running of proceedings, and as a revenue source to be channelled to help the Pakatan Harapan government pay off the country’s debts.”
According to Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the courts should decide concerning the matter, but warned that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has neither intent nor desire to turn the court sessions into a ‘circus.’
Speaking of the courts she said, “That is under their jurisdiction, and we should allow them to decide on whether to broadcast it or not.
Even though we feel there are people who want to know the proceedings of the trial of Datuk Seri Najib. We don’t want to make it as a circus. Let the law take its course for those involved.”
Taking to Twitter this time, Mr Najib answered the Deputy Prime Minister back.
He wrote, “I don’t understand, how can people sitting at home watching it ‘live’ cause the court trial to become into a circus.
What is there to fear?”
The former Prime Minister has been slapped with dozens of charges of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering over funds linked to sovereign investment company 1MDB.-TISG
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