KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — The judge presiding over Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial today ordered the prosecution team to get other witnesses to testify as the 12th prosecution witness, who was supposed to continue to testify today, was down with fever.
Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah made the order after deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib informed the court that he got a message from former 1MDB chief financial officer Azmi Tahir, 49, at 8.30 am today to inform that he was unable to testify today as he was on medical leave.
Ahmad Akram said he then told the witness to come to the court and explain the matter to the court.
“My Lord, he came to court and his eyes were red and his body was hot,” said the prosecutor.
Question by Judge Sequerah whether the witness was having fever, Ahmad Akram replied “Yes, but not COVID-19, but he looks weak”.
“My Lord, I have tried to call other witnesses, namely Datuk Johan Idris, Datuk Wan Ahmad Shihab Wan Ismail, Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, Lim Poh Seng as well as Goh Gaik Kim to replace Azmi on the stand.”
“Johan is in London, Wan Ahmad Shihab is down with diarrhea for the past three days, Ismee is under self-quarantine as he just returned from Umrah, Lim having a COVID-19 booster shot today, while Goh has to attend two company meetings. I asked her to cancel the meetings, but she said they are important,” said Ahmad Akram.
Judge Sequerah appreciated the prosecution’s attempt to call the five witnesses at the 11th hour. He, however, asked the prosecution to try to get at least one of the over 50 prosecution witnesses to attend the proceeding this afternoon.
“I will stand down this proceeding until 2.30 pm and do your best to get someone else. There are over 50 witnesses on the list. The trial will resume at 2.30 pm,” said the judge.
The Pekan MP is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totaling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.