Najib's trial postponed again after lawyer injured by pet dog


PUTRAJAYA - A hearing on an appeal filed by former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak relating to criminal charges over a former subsidiary of tainted state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has been postponed again.

This time, a dog is to blame.

The former premier's lead counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, told a three-man panel at the Court of Appeal on Tuesday (March 12) that he could not continue with his submission as he recently fractured his left wrist.

"My pet dog jumped on me. I am now in pain and I need to seek immediate medical attention later through an X-ray scan," he said.

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas stood up to object to the postponement.

"Everyone wants the trial to start as early as tomorrow. There is an enormous pressure on the prosecution team," said Mr Thomas.

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"In fact, there is a global pressure on us for the trial to start. I understand the counsel has a problem but on the other hand, we are under scrutiny why the trial hasn't begun."

Mr Muhammad Shafee suggested that the hearing be adjourned to Friday as Mr Thomas was not available on Thursday.

Court of Appeal judge Zabariah Mohd Yusof, who chaired the panel, agreed.

Najib faces charges of criminal breach of trust and abuse of power over RM42 million (S$13.9 million) linked to SRC International, a former 1MDB subsidiary.

The trial was set to run from Feb 12 to March 29, but was postponed due to four appeals filed by the defence.

On Wednesday (March 11), the appellate court heard submissions on Najib's application for a gag order to prohibit the media and the public from discussing the merits of his criminal cases; his application for the recovery of documents and statements; the withdrawal of certificate of transfer and his challenge to the appointment of lawyer Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah as the lead prosecutor in the seven charges pertaining to SRC International.