LIVE | Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak was today charged for abuse of power and three counts of CBT over allegations that he had received RM42 million from SRC International.
He claimed trial to all charges and the trial judge set bail at RM1 million. He was allowed to leave after his family members managed to post half the sum.
- Defence to seek removal of AG as lead prosecutor
- Najib posts bail
- Tentative trial dates set, begins Feb 18
- Aug 8 case management
- Interim gag order is granted
- Court sets bail at RM1 million.
- Najib willing to hand over land title as surety for bail
- Najib claims trial
- Case transferred to High Court
- Charges read out - three counts CBT, one count of abuse of power
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Najib leaves court, arrives home
3.30pm: Jalan Langgak Duta - Najib Abdul Razak returns to his private residence, which is just 2.5km away from the courts.
3.30pm: Court Complex, Jalan Duta - In a press conference, Najib's lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah expresses unhappiness that he was only given the charge sheet and no other documents, including Najib's caution statement.
He deems this improper and says it undermines his client's rights to a fair trial.
Hence, he will seek to remove Attorney-General Tommy Thomas from leading the prosecution.
The lead defence counsel also labels the 1MDB task force illegal, and questions why it was able to bypass the attorney-general and issue a statement that Najib was to be charged. [Read full story here]
3.25pm: Court Complex, Jalan Duta - Najib Abdul Razak leaves the court complex.
He waves at his loyal band of supporters, some 40 people, many of whom were waiting since morning.
They call out "Hidup Najib (Long live Najib)" and hold up "#FreeNajib" signs.
Also seen exiting the court complex are his wife Rosmah Mansor, and his two children Nooryana Najwa dan Norashman.
2.15pm: Court Complex, Jalan Duta -Police and Special Taskforce on Organised Crime (Stafoc) are tightening security at the lobby as Najib Abdul Razak is believed to be coming down soon.
Only media personnel are allowed in, while all supporters and onlookers are made to leave the complex.
2.10pm: Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor (picture, below) is seen along the court corridor on Level 5.
She was absent at the High Court when Najib claimed trial, and during his earlier Sessions Court appearance.
Najib, meanwhile, is still in the High Court holding room where he earlier claimed trial to all charges.
Najib's counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is in the process of settling the first half of his bail, set at RM1 million for all four charges.
Tentative trial dates set
1pm: Court Complex, Jalan Duta - Lead prosecutor Tommy Thomas calls off his impromptu press conference after a group of Najib Abdul Razak's supporters begin to heckle him to speak in Bahasa Malaysia. [Read full story here]
Spotted among the crowd are actress Ellie Suriaty (picture, below) and Umno supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam.
Police intervene and order the group to leave the lobby.
The issue of Tommy's poor grasp of the national language was raised when he was appointed attorney-general.
Meanwhile, the press conference by Najib's lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is still expected to proceed as planned as soon as he's done posting Najib's bail.
12.49pm: High Court 3 - The High Court have set the tentative dates for the trial, to be reconfirmed on Aug 8.
As of now, trial is set to go on for 19 days, beginning February next year.
The trial dates are - February 18-28, 2019; March 4-8 and March 11-15.
Judge allows defence's application for interim gag order
12.35pm: High Court 3 - Judge Sophian Abdul Razak sets August 8 for case management.
The interim gag order will also be in effect until then.
The gag order applies to any coverage by any media, or any form of publication, on the matter related to the four charges covering the merits of the case. [Read full story here]
12.25pm: Lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and lead prosecutor Tommy Thomas enter into an argument over the handing over of case documents before trial commences.
This as Tommy says Shafee's request to obtain all documents before the trial date has been set is unreasonable.
In response, Shafee says: "If you charge him today, it means you are ready! I can't imagine you will charge someone but the documents are not ready.
"Just photostat the documents and hand it over to us."
12.10pm: Justice Sophian grants the defence's application for an interim gag order.
This is after defence counsel Shafee applies to the judge for the interim order against any statements which can potentially affect his client's case as per the four charges.
He cites alleged incidents of "trial by media" against Najib.
Lead prosecutor Thomas (photo, below) raises an objection to the request and argues that the principles of freedom of speech under the Federal Constitution should remain supreme.
He says Shafee should put in a formal application rather than an interim order, and that the prosecution will then "oppose vigorously" to the application.
Umno cannot help Najib make bail
12.10pm: Court complex, Jalan Duta - Umno vice-president Mahdzir Khalid professes his sympathy towards his former leader, but says it would be impossible for Umno to help the latter out in making bail.
Mahdzir tells reporters this is as the bail amount, RM1 million, was too high and especially as Umno's accounts have been frozen by investigators probing alleged 1MDB scandals.
"If you take into account he had been an elected representative since 1976, he had been a people's representative for almost half his life... so of course we sympathise with him," he says at the court complex.
11.55am: High Court 3 - High Court Judge Justice Sophian Abdul Razak sets bail at RM1 million for all four charges with two sureties. He also orders the accused to surrender both his passports.
"The court is of the view that a fair and just amount is RM1 million in cash with two sureties. Accused will also have to surrender both of his passports," he says.
Najib's counsel says his client will only be able to pay half the sum today.
"By Monday, I will endeavour to get another RM500,000," Shafee tells the court. The court allows the two payments.
Najib pleads not guilty
11.10am: High Court 3 - An uniformed police officer scolds those waiting outside the courtroom, as their ruckus is heard inside the court.
"If you want to talk, talk downstairs," he instructs.
10.50am: Najib's lawyer Shafee objects to the bail amount, stating it is too high.
"My client through his children and wife have to ask around from their relatives to raise money.
"They have some amount but by far not RM4 million," he says.
The defence counsel instead asks for bail to be set at RM500,000 to RM800,000 with two sureties for all four charges and for the accused to surrender his passport.
In fact, Shafee states his client will be willing to hand over the deed to the latter's house to the court as part of the surety, as all his accounts have been frozen.
10.45am: Najib pleads not guilty and claims trial to all four charges read out to him.
Najib was seen nodding after each charge was read out to him.
Lead prosecutor Thomas applies for bail to be set at RM1 million for each charge. [Read full story here]
10.35am: The case is moved to the High Court.
Former premier Najib Abdul Razak appears before Justice Sophian Abdul Razak to record his plea.
Thomas, as lead prosecutor, requests for the charges to be read once again to the accused before his plea is taken.
10.30am: If convicted under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, Najib will face a maximum 20-year jail term and a fine five times the amount of gratification.
If convicted for CBT, Najib can be jailed between two and 20 years, whipped and possibly fined. However, caning only applies to those below 50 hence Najib, 64, will be exempted from this penalty.
Case to go to High Court
10am: Court Complex, Jalan Duta - There is confusion as it becomes unclear as to which High Court room the accused is being taken to.
It was earlier stipulated that he be brought to Criminal High Court 1, which is on the fourth floor.
However, it appears now that he will be taken to the Criminal High Court 3, which is on the fifth floor.
9.20am: Sessions Court - Attorney-general Tommy Thomas seeks to transfer the case to the High Court.
He asks that the accused's plea not be recorded.
Lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah counters that a plea should be taken here and also at the High Court.
Najib is charge under Section 409 of Penal Code.
To this, Judge Zainal Abidin decides that Najib's plea be recorded at the High Court.
Tommy then presents the certificate for the case to be transferred to the High Court.
Shafee says he has no objections, but he will raise the matter later at the High Court should there be any errors to address.
Charges being read
9.13am: Sessions Court - The fourth charge is being read out. Najib is charged under Section 23 of the MACC Act.
Fourth charge - On Aug 17, 2011 - Feb 8, 2012, the accused, in his capacity as a public servant - holding the post of prime minister and finance minister, allegedly received RM42 million, when he was involved in the decision by the Malaysian government to provide guarantees for loans up to RM4 billion from the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to SRC International at the Prime Minister's office at Putrajaya.
9.09am: The accused is facing three charges under Section 409 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust.
First charge - Between Dec 24 and 29, 2014, the accused, in his capacity as a public servant holding the post of prime minister and finance minister, allegedly received RM27 million from SRC International at an Ambank branch in Jalan Raja Chulan in Kuala Lumpur.
Second charge - Between Dec 24 and 29, 2014, the accused, in his capacity as a public servant holding the post of prime minister and finance minister, allegedly received RM5 million from SRC International at an Ambank branch in Jalan Raja Chulan in Kuala Lumpur.
Third charge - Between Feb 10 and March 2, 2015, the accused, in his capacity as a public servant holding the post of prime minister and finance minister allegedly received RM10 million from SRC International at an Ambank branch in Jalan Raja Chulan in Kuala Lumpur. [Read full guide to the charges here]
9.07am: Sessions Court - Najib's wife Rosmah is conspicuously absent.
Her lawyer K Kumaraendran, who is holding a watching brief, tells reporters he advised her not to come.
AG and team next to arrive
9.05am: Court Complex, Jalan Duta - Newly elected Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki expresses hope that the former premier will be given appropriate justice and that the courts will dispense their duties in a fair manner.
"Let us not sentence him before the court doles out its decision, let us not abandon him before he is accorded any sentence.
"The problem is, today be is being tried by the media court and not the real court," he tells reporters.
8.55am: Sessions Court - Senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah arrives with the rest of Najib Abdul Razak's defence team.
8.42am: Attorney-General Tommy Thomas arrives with his team of about 11 other prosecutors that includes Manoj Kurup, Mohd Hanafiah Zakaria and Mohd Ishak Yusof.
More of Najib's children - Nooryana Najwa and her husband Daniyar Nazarbayev, and Norashman - also enter the courtroom.
Meanwhile, Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (photo) is seen outside the High Court room where Najib will be taken afterwards.
"The struggle is not over. Look at (Pakatan Harapan de facto leader) Anwar Ibrahim.
"He went in and out of prison but his struggle continues," the former deputy minister tells reporters.
Below are the members of the prosecution team:
- Tommy Thomas
- Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria
- Manoj Kurup
- Suhaimi Ibrahim
- Umar Saifuddin Jaafar
- Ishak Mohd Yusoff
- Donald Joseph Franklin
- Muhammad Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi
- Budiman Lutfi Mohammed
- Sulaiman Kho Kheng Fuei
- Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul
- Muhammad Izzat Fauziah
8.30am: Sessions Court – The former premier is escorted to the witness room. Rosmah is also expected to be present as her husband is formally charged.
As expected, security inside the courtroom is tight as authorities restrict entry into the room. Members of the press, meanwhile, are only allowed to occupy the last two benches in the courtroom.
One of Najib's children from his first marriage, believed to be Nazifuddin, is also seen in the courtroom.
8.18am: Court Complex, Jalan Duta - Najib arrives.
His arrival triggers cries of 'Najib!' and 'Allahuakbar' from supporters, numbering around 50, waiting outside the court complex and the lobby.
Everyone, media and supporters alike, surge forward (picture, below), pushing each other to get a glimpse of Najib, dressed in a blazer and a blue shirt, as he is led through the main door.
A senior police officer instructs his officers to temporarily restrict entry into the main building.
Cries of 'Najib! Najib! Najib!
8.15am: Sessions Court - K Kumaraendran, the lawyer representing Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor, arrives in court and enters into the witness room.
While earlier reports suggest that Najib may face 10 charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), it is learnt from sources that he may face only three charges today.
There will be another one or two charges under the MACC Act 2009, while a further charge under the Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLA) 2001 may be laid upon him another day.
8.10am: Court Complex, Jalan Duta - Umno leader Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz, who leads a crowd of Najib's supporters, gets into an argument with a team of police officers.
"This is not a karaoke joint, this is a court!" a police officer is heard telling Tun Faisal as he attempts to rally the crowd to sing 'Allah Selamatkan Kamu (Allah Saves You)' in anticipation of Najib's arrival.
Tun Faisal (centre in photo) argues there is no restriction to speak or sing outside of the court lobby, but police insist the crowd shift to outside of the main gate.
"Where is the arrest team? (You all are) Acting like a bunch of children," the officer further says.
From among the crowd, someone shouts at the police "jangan provoke! (do not provoke us)".
MACC officers arrive
8am: Court Complex, Jalan Duta - Cries of "Najib!" echoes at the court complex as supporters continue to wait for the arrival of the former prime minister.
Sentul OCPD R Munusamy, however, orders them to leave the complex as they are blocking vehicles from entering.
"Don't impede the roads. If you must sing, sing outside," Mususamy is heard saying as he reprimands the supporters (picture, below).
7.50am: Several Umno leaders arrive in a show of support towards their former leader, and former BN chairperson.
Among those spotted at the complex are Batu Pahat Umno division chief Puad Zarkashi (picture, below left in orange shirt), Wanita Umno chief Noraini Ahmad and Umno Youth exco member Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris or better known as blogger Papagomo.
"We have come to show support because he (Najib) is not only the former Umno president but also our former prime minister.
"We want to show that we will to continue to defend him," Puad told reporters.
7.35am: Sessions Court – MACC officers are seen checking the courtroom at the Sessions Court.
One of them is seen a carrying a large suitcase and another bringing a thick stack of documents.
Some plainclothes police officers are also seen accompanying them.
Meanwhile, senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is expected to lead Najib's defence team.
He was seen entering Najib's home in Jalan Langgak Duta in Kuala Lumpur last night, and left over an hour later.
The press waits
7.25am: Court Complex, Jalan Duta – Four Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) trucks and a police truck enter the court complex.
Among those seen waiting include several carrying placards with the words "RESPECT CIVIL RIGHTS #FREENAJIB" in English and others in Chinese letterings.
The staircase leading to the lobby is packed with local and international media waiting for Najib's arrival.
Upstairs at the courtrooms, journalists are also waiting for the proceedings to begin.
7.05am: Court Complex, Jalan Duta - Photographers and camera crews are stationed at the lobby to wait for Najib's arrival. He is expected to immediately head to the Sessions Court room on the fourth floor right wing of the building.
Thomas, who is leading the prosecution team, is expected to hold a press conference after Najib is charged.
7am: A crowd of more than 50 people comprising media personnel and others are already gathered at the court complex, some arriving even before dawn.
Police are taking no chances. There appears to be tight security this morning as sniffer dogs are also seen checking vehicles entering the building from the main guard house.
6.55am: Less than two months after the May 9 polls, history is set to be made yet again as Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak is hauled to court to face criminal charges.
The Pakatan Harapan administration has kept to its promise to bring Najib to book over the 1MDB scandal
All eyes now turn to the Jalan Duta Court Complex, in Kuala Lumpur, where Najib will be taken after spending the night in detention at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya.
The former premier who has consistently denied any wrongdoing is expected to be slapped with several counts criminal breach of trust (CBT) linked to transactions involving SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former 1MDB subsidiary.
Najib will first be brought before Sessions Court judge Zainal Abidin Kamaruddin before facing High Court judge Azman Abdullah.
The prosecution will be led by recently appointed attorney-general Tommy Thomas.