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AG's opening statement: It is my duty and privilege...
Published:  Apr 3, 2019 9:00 AM
Updated: 9:49 AM

NAJIB TRIAL | In his opening statement at the Kuala Lumpur High Court this afternoon, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas described it as a duty and privilege to open the first trial in Malaysian courts in which a former prime minister will be prosecuted.

Thomas said that for nearly a decade, Najib Abdul Razak had occupied the most powerful office in the land, and wielded near absolute power.

"Such privilege carries with it enormous responsibility, which my office intends to discharge in order to establish that the accused is guilty of the seven charges he is facing before Your Lordship."

Thomas told the court that as both prime minister and finance minister at the time, Najib had combined "maximum political power" and "control of the nation's purse."

Under such circumstances, he said, the law demanded the highest standards from Najib in the discharging of his public duties.

"Not being satisfied with holding of the twin position of prime minister and finance minister, the accused was also appointed the chairperson of the board of advisers of 1MDB.

"A common feature of both companies was that the true power in directing and managing their affairs did not lie with the board of directors, as is required by law and is the universal practice wherever companies carry on business, but in the person of the accused by virtue of his holding these two positions,” he added.

Below is the full version of Thomas' opening statement in Najib's trial on the criminal breach of trust and money laundering charges in relation to the former 1MDB subsidiary, SRC International Bhd.

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