Lawyer says no special treatment for Najib

When asked about Najib's (second from left) overall health condition, Shafee said that his client's blood pressure was better but not back to normal. (Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge)

When asked about Najib's (second from left) overall health condition, Shafee said that his client's blood pressure was better but not back to normal. (Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge)

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 26): Defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah has denied allegations that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been given preferential treatment in Kajang Prison.

The senior lawyer rubbished the allegations as "total nonsense", and said that his client was given a standard room in Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital (HRC), something accorded to prisoners in need of medical treatment.

"I went to see him. It's just a room. I got a better room at the National Heart Institute. It's a standard room for anyone from the prison who needs that kind of treatment," Shafee said when speaking to reporters during a break in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-Tanore trial.

The lawyer lamented that Najib was not even given a room to eat in when he attended court proceedings.

Last week, an anonymous message was being circulated, which claimed that Najib (code-named "Merpati") was given preferential treatment in Kajang Prison, where he has been serving his 12-year prison sentence since Aug 23.

This was after the apex court dismissed Najib's final appeal in the RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

Shafee added on Monday (Sept 26) that he went to see the former PM over the weekend but was told that he could not be given any exceptions. 

According to the lawyer, he has also experienced this with other clients.

He said the only "special treatment" given could be in terms of food for the former prime minister, which can't be oily or spicy due to his history of stomach ulcers, and hence the Prisons Department is monitoring the Pekan Member of Parliament's diet. 

The lawyer said that even Najib's family was not allowed to provide food for him.

Shafee also confirmed that his client was transfered to HRC to undergo physiotherapy.

"He's got certain health conditions for therapy. Even I don't know. Maybe [it is] related to his existing condition, which is [a] knee problem. He went for a big operation even when he was the prime minister.

"He was recommended to go [to HRC]. Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) has physiotherapy, but it is not adequate," the lawyer said.

The 1MDB-Tanore trial had to be vacated two weeks ago, after Najib's blood pressure was reportedly affected by a change in medication. He was subsequently hospitalised in HKL, and later transferred to HRC on Sept 19.

When asked about Najib's overall health condition, Shafee said that his client's blood pressure was better but not back to normal.

"His blood pressure is 136/87. His normal [range was] 110-120/70-80," the lawyer said.

The Edge is covering the trial live here.

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

Read also:
Businessman's lawyer questions Shafee’s remark over ‘special treatment for Najib’ claim
Najib given medical clearance, allowed to return to Kajang Prison
Najib to be sent back to Kajang Prison upon getting medical clearance

Lam Jian Wyn