SRC trial grinds to a halt as Najib gets eye infection

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin And Kenneth Tee
Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is seen leaving the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex, August 14, 2019. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s corruption trial over RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd has been adjourned for the entire week as he has contracted infectious conjunctivitis.

Defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali that Najib called him at 7.45am to inform him of the illness.

“I received a call directly from Datuk Seri Najib who obviously did not sound well, and he informed me that he is suspected of having infectious conjunctivitis in both eyes,” said Shafee.

Shafee said Najib told him an eye specialist diagnosed the infection as possibly occurring overnight and issued a medical certificate for three days beginning today.

Copies of the certificate and photographs of Najib’s infected eyes were provided to the prosecution, Shafee said before ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram confirmed so.

Sithambaram did not object to the adjournment application after taking into account the risks of the infection spreading to others should Najib be made to attend proceedings.

Mohd Nazlan then asked Shafee if his client could miraculously recover overnight, but the latter said the infection would take at least 48 hours to clear and Najib was already prescribed medication.

“Given the reason for adjournment is on medical grounds and seeing it is not objected by the prosecution, the court has no choice but to adjourn,” he said.

Mohd Nazlan then fixed 10am on Monday, August 19 for trial to resume.

Najib is currently on trial seven charges of alleged abuse of position, money-laundering and criminal breach of trust over RM42 million of funds from SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

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