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Friday, October 22, 2021

Najib seeks extension of temporary passport release due to Malacca polls

 


Due to the upcoming Malacca election, former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak can only fly to Singapore on Nov 21.

The former BN chairperson stated this in an affidavit in support of an application for the temporary release of his passport, filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court earlier this week.

On Monday, the Court of Appeal allowed Najib’s temporary passport release application so he could be in Singapore to support his daughter Nooryana Najwa, who is expected to give birth there. The period given was from Oct 20 to Nov 22.

However, through the amended notice of motion before the Kuala Lumpur High Court, Najib is seeking his passport release period to include Nov 21 to Dec 5. The Malacca polls will fall on Nov 20.

Through the affidavit dated yesterday, Najib said that following the Court of Appeal’s green light for the temporary release of his passport, he then was informed that the state nomination date and election will be on Nov 8 and 20, respectively.

Fulfilling Umno responsibility  

“In light of Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi flying to Germany during that period for backbone treatment, I have been entrusted with the responsibility to ensure that Umno during the Malacca election moves and takes action properly and accordingly while Zahid is not here.

“Therefore, I am forced to postpone my trip to Singapore until completion of the state election on Nov 20.

“I state here that my plan has changed whereby I will go to Singapore on Nov 21, and return to Malaysia on Dec 5 (or earlier than that date). I will return my international passport to this honourable court latest by Dec 6 (or earlier than that date)," he said. 

The former Umno president added that he has to carry out his responsibility to the country first and his wife Rosmah Mansor will go to Singapore earlier to look after their daughter. 

"I will follow my wife after I have fulfilled my responsibility here,” Najib said.

A week ago, the Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed a similar application for Rosmah to gain temporary access to her passport to be with her daughter.

Previously, Rosmah surrendered her passport to the High Court as part of bail conditions, pending the disposal of her corruption trial linked to the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid energy project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

On Oct 11, the Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed Zahid’s application for the temporary release of his passport to fly to Munich, Germany later this month for back and neck pain treatment.

The former deputy prime minister previously surrendered his passport to the court as part of bail conditions in his ongoing corruption trial linked to millions in funds from Yayasan Akalbudi.

Previously, Najib surrendered his passport to the Kuala Lumpur High Court as part of bail terms in his RM42 million SRC International corruption trial.

However, following his conviction and sentencing over the case last year, the High Court allowed a stay on the sentence, pending disposal of his appeal at the Court of Appeal. 

Temporary passport release bid put off to Tuesday

Three different benches of the Kuala Lumpur High Court postponed today’s scheduled hearing of Najib’s temporary passport release application to Tuesday next week.

When contacted after proceedings this morning, Najib’s defence counsel Nur Syahirah Hanapiah confirmed that the hearing postponement was due to the former premier seeking to amend part of the temporary passport release application.

She added that the amendment concerns the dates for temporary access to Najib’s passport.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul also confirmed the postponement.

Under the law, an accused person who wishes to apply for the temporary release of his passport, but has pending criminal cases before multiple criminal-jurisdiction courts, needs to make and have his applications heard before these various judges.

Besides his RM42 million SRC International corruption case, for which he had been convicted and sentenced (and is in the process of appeal), Najib also has three other pending criminal cases before three separate High Court judges in Kuala Lumpur.

Najib is undergoing trial for a RM2.28 billion 1MDB corruption case before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah and another trial before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan for alleged involvement in the amendment to 1MDB’s audit report.

The Pekan MP also has a pending case, that has not gone to trial yet, involving an alleged criminal breach of trust of RM6.6 billion in government funds linked to International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) payments, before judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin. - Mkini

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