1MDB-Tanore trial adjourned as Najib seeks urgent medical attention

Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge

Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 12): The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-Tanore trial at the High Court here on Monday (Sept 12) was adjourned at 12.30pm as former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had to see a doctor because he was experiencing adverse effects due to a change in his high blood pressure medication.

During the court hearing, senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who is the lead prosecutor for the case, told High Court judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah at about 11.25am that Najib needed to consult a doctor as his “condition is quite bad”.

Sri Ram told Sequerah that Najib was unwell due to a change in his high blood pressure medication and that the change is having “adverse effects” on Najib, who is also Member of Parliament for Pekan.

Malaysian Prison Department officers had informed Sri Ram that Najib had to go and see a doctor at 2pm due to complications with the former premier's high blood pressure medication, according to the lead prosecutor.

"His (Najib's) [high] blood pressure medication has changed and it is having an adverse impact on him.

"Therefore he has to go and see a doctor," Sri Ram said.

Sri Ram had subsequently requested that the Monday court proceedings for the 1MDB-Tanore trial to be adjourned at 12.30pm.

The ongoing trial had resumed at 10am on Monday with AmBank's Jalan Raja Chulan branch manager R Uma Devi testifying as the prosecution’s 37th witness for the case.

"By 2pm, he (Najib) has to see a doctor because his condition is quite bad. The prison department (officers) will have to take him to [see] a doctor," Sri Ram told Sequerah.

Sequerah had subsequently allowed Najib to seek medical attention and for the hearing to be adjourned until Tuesday (Sept 13) morning.

Najib is serving a 12-year jail sentence in Kajang Prison after the Federal Court in Putrajaya had on Aug 23 rejected Najib's final appeal against his conviction involving 1MDB's former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.

The Federal Court, which is Malaysia's highest court, had then upheld the High Court and Court of Appeal's decisions which found Najib guilty of seven charges involving SRC.

On July 28, 2020, the High Court sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and fined him RM210 million after he was found guilty by judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali of the seven charges involving SRC.

The seven charges comprised one count of abuse of power involving Retirement Fund Inc's (KWAP) RM4 billion loans to SRC, three counts of criminal breach of trust involving RM42 million and three counts of money laundering.

On Dec 8, 2021, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court's decision.

In the 1MDB-Tanore trial, Najib had on Sept 20, 2018 pleaded not guilty to 25 charges linked to abuse of power and money laundering over hundreds of millions of dollars of funds received in his personal bank accounts.

The charges included four counts of abuse of power involving RM2.28 billion in 1MDB funds.

Prosecutors also charged Najib with 21 counts of money laundering, comprising nine counts of receiving illegal proceeds, five counts of using illegal proceeds and seven counts of transferring the proceeds to other entities.

Prosecutors, when describing the abuse of power charges, said Najib used his position as the prime minister, finance minister and chairman of 1MDB to obtain funds totalling about RM2.3 billion between 2011 and 2014.

The money laundering charges describe how Najib received RM2.1 billion from Tanore Finance Corp, which US authorities said was used to siphon money from 1MDB.

As such, Najib’s trial has been referred to as the 1MDB-Tanore trial, which is being heard before Sequerah.

The Edge is covering the trial live here.

Users of The Edge Markets app may tap here to access the live report.

Chong Jin Hun