MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, August 11, 2022

1MDB: Shafee on MC, appeal to obtain Zeti's family bank info postponed

Najib Abdul Razak’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is down with a fever caught from the staff at his law firm.

The Court of Appeal this morning adjourned the initially scheduled hearing of the former prime minister’s appeal to access 1MDB-linked documents, including the banking information of former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s family.

Najib seeks the documents to bolster his defence against the ongoing trial for the RM2.28 billion 1MDB corruption case before the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Before a three-person appellate court bench chaired by Ravinthran N Paramaguru, the appellant’s co-counsel Effa Azuin Aidrul Hisham said that lead counsel Shafee is on medical leave.

“I was informed by the senior counsel (Shafee) that he suspected he caught a fever from the staff at his law firm,” Effa informed the bench, which also comprised judges Abu Bakar Jais and Hashim Hamzah.

When Ravinthran asked the prosecution, who is the respondent, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib indicated they have no objection to the bid to postpone today’s hearing.

The appellate court then adjourned the hearing and fixed case management tomorrow to set another date to hear the appeal.

Counsel Sofea Shereen Salim held a watching brief for Zeti and her husband, Tawfiq Ayman.

Among the documents sought by Najib are ones allegedly showing Zeti’s family receiving money from 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, whom Malaysian authorities are still attempting to track down.

Former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz

Najib’s discovery bid was also for United States court documents on the forensic report of former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner’s handphone.

On July 12 last year, the High Court dismissed Najib’s discovery application to obtain the 1MDB-linked documents.

The judge who dismissed the previous application, Collin Lawrence Sequerah, is also presiding over the former premier’s RM2.28 billion 1MDB corruption case.

Through the application, Najib’s legal team was seeking documents allegedly showing Zeti’s family received money from Low.

Zeti a witness in 1MDB trial

Previously, Malaysiakini reported Tawfiq as denying having ever received bribes.

In the ongoing 1MDB trial before Sequerah, Najib faces four counts of abuse of power and 21 counts of money laundering involving RM2.28 billion from the sovereign wealth fund.

1MDB is fully owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated (MOF Inc).

Zeti is on the list of witnesses that the prosecution intends to call to testify during the ongoing 1MDB trial.

Previously during the 1MDB trial, Najib’s defence team contended that former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and several others were in cahoots with Low in the whole affair, of which the former premier claimed he had no knowledge.

Leissner had pleaded guilty to a 1MDB-linked case at a US court, claiming to have bribed 1MDB officials, among other people.

He also recently testified at a New York court during the 1MDB-linked criminal trial against Roger Ng, another former Goldman Sachs banker who is a Malaysian citizen. - Mkini

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