KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali will preside over the criminal cases of former prime minister Najib Razak, replacing another justice whose brother is an Umno leader in Pahang state.
Najib's name was spotted on a list under criminal High Court 3 on the judiciary's website, which is Justice Mohd Nazlan's court.
Najib was early last month charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power concerning RM42 million (S$14 million) worth of payments allegedly received by him from SRC International, a former subsidiary of state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). He pleaded not guilty to all four charges.
The judge who heard those charges read in court on July 4 against the former premier was Justice Mohd Sofian Abd Razak.
The case management of the Najib case will be heard on Aug 8.
But it later emerged that Justice Mohd Sofian is the younger brother of a Pahang state Umno leader Datuk Seri Mohd Soffi Abdul Razak. This led the Malaysian Bar to call for the judge to recuse himself from the case.
Justice Mohd Nazlan was recently transferred to the criminal court from the commercial division.
Justice Mohd Nazlan, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence and a Master of Arts from University of Oxford, will be hearing a case management in Najib's case that has been fixed for Aug 8.
The 51-year-old is a Barrister at Law of Lincoln's Inn.
Before joining the judiciary, Mohd Nazlan previously worked at the Securities Commission and Maybank.
He also practised at Zaid Ibrahim & Co, a large local law firm, for five years as a partner.