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Najib, Irwan’s RM6.6 billion CBT trial dates vacated to give way to SRC trial

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KUALA LUMPUR: The trial of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah who are facing six charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) of RM6.6 billion in government funds, originally scheduled for Jan 6 next year, has been vacated to give way to the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial.

High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali vacated the trial dates for January and February 2020 during case management today.

Previously, the court had fixed January 6 to 9 and 20 to 23 , followed by Feb 3 to 6, 10 to 13, 17 to 20 and 24 to 27 for hearing.

However, the court maintained the dates in March and April from March 2 to 5 and March 9 to 12, and April 6 to 9, 13 to 16, 20 to 23 and 27 to 30. The judge fixed Feb 27, 2020 for the next case management.

Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Jamil Aripin requested for the trial dates in January to March 2020 to be vacated.

“I have instructions to apply for the hearing dates in January, February and March 2020 to be vacated or taken off to give priority to the SRC case. Hearing of this case is only to proceed upon completion of the SRC trial,” he said.

Jamil also said the case involving payment to International Petroleum International Corp (IPIC) at the London High Court should proceed first to avoid duplication of the case.

Najib’s lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Mohd Irwan’s lawyer, Datuk K. Kumaraendran had no objection for the trial dates to be vacated.

On Oct 25 last year,  Najib, 66, and Mohd Irwan, 62, pleaded not guilty to six counts of CBT when the case was brought before the Sessions Court. The four charges involved payment made to IPIC.

On the first count, they were jointly charged with, in their capacity as Finance Minister and Treasury secretary-general, respectively, and entrusted with the dominion of RM1.2 billion belonging to the Malaysian government, with committing CBT of the fund.

On the second count, Najib and Mohd Irwan were jointly charged with committing CBT of RM655 million belonging to the Malaysian government which was entrusted to them.

On the third count, they were jointly charged, in their capacity as public servants and holding the same posts, with committing CBT of RM220 million belonging to the Malaysian government in the Federal Consolidated Fund under the “Belanja Mengurus di bawah Maksud B11 Perkhidmatan Am Perbendaharaan, Aktiviti 021700 KL International Airport Berhad (KLIAB)” that was entrusted to them.

The two men were also jointly accused of committing CBT of RM1.3 billion that was entrusted to them under the Federal Consolidated Fund under “Maksud B11 Perkhidmatan Am Perbendaharaan, Aktiviti 020500 Subsidi Dan Bantuan Tunai”, belonging to the Malaysian government.

On the fifth and sixth charges, they allegedly committed CBT of CNY1,950,000,000 (RM1.26 billion) and RM2 billion, respectively, belonging to the government.

Najib and Mohd Irwan were alleged to have committed all the offences at the Finance Ministry Complex in Putrajaya between Dec 21, 2016, and Dec 18, 2017.

They were charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same Code, which provides for a maximum jail term of 20 years and whipping, and liable to be fined, if found guilty.

— BERNAMA

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