High Court hears submisions on interim gag order against media

Rahmat Khairulrijal

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak spent almost five hours in the dock during the hearing of his application for an interim gag order on the media against discussing the merits of his criminal charges.

This is by far the longest time he has sat in the dock after he was charged recently with multiple offences of criminal breach of trust, power abuse, and money laundering.

Najib clad in a grey suit was calm when he listened to his lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah making his submissions.

The proceedings were adjourned by High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali at 12.30pm and continued at 2.30pm.

Earlier, Shafee raised several issues. Among others, he alleged that the prosecution team’s ill-preparedness was unfair to the defence.

On July 4, the High Court allowed Najib’s application for an interim gag order on the media from discussing the merits of the criminal breach of trust and abuse of power cases against him.

Najib claimed trial to three counts of criminal breach of trust and another charge of abuse of power involving RM42 million linked to SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

He also claimed trial at the High Court on Wednesday to receiving more than RM40 million from illegal proceeds linked to SRC International.

He was alleged to have received RM42 million in total, at an Am Islamic Bank branch via electronic funds transfer at Jalan Raja Chulan here between Dec 26, 2014, and Feb 10, 2015.

The offence falls under Section 4 (1) (b) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.

Najib faces a maximum 15 years’ jail and no less than five times the amount of proceeds involved, or a RM5 million fine, whichever is higher, if convicted. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd