Wednesday 24 Apr 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 14): Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak filed an application to recuse trial judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah from hearing the 1Malaysia Development Bhd-Tanore (1MDB-Tanore) trial in the High Court on Monday (Aug 14), and the court fixed Thursday to hear the application.

Lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informed the court at the start of proceedings on Monday that they just filed the application, with an affidavit in support signed by Najib.

Shafee is seeking to recuse Sequerah from continuing to preside over the trial.

This follows the judge’s disclosure that he and former 1MDB general counsel Jasmine Loo Ai Swan both worked for Zain & Co about 10 to 15 years ago.

If the recusal application is allowed, the defence is seeking one of the following three remedies:

  • That the trial should be declared a nullity and Najib should be given a discharge and acquittal; or
  • That the hearing should continue with a new judge; or
  • That the trial be reheard de novo (start afresh) before a new judge.

Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Kamal Baharin Omar told the court that the prosecution would object to the application, and would file an affidavit in reply on Tuesday, as they had yet to obtain the sealed copy and only had the physical hardcopy, which had not been sealed.

“We also have yet to read the application,” he added.

Prior to this, Shafee had indicated that his client might file an application to recuse Sequerah.

Shafee has asked that the recusal application be heard and disposed off first, but Sequerah directed for the trial to proceed, where former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz is a witness.

DPP Ahmad Akram Gharib told the court that the public should refrain from discussing the matter of the recusal until the application is decided.

Sequerah, who is now a Court of Appeal judge, also reminded the public not to make adverse comments on the matter outside of the application.

“The public should refrain from discussing the matter until it is decided,” he said, adding that if this is not abided by, it would be dealt with in due course of the law.

The Edge is covering the trial live here.

Users of The Edge Markets app may tap here to access the live report.

Edited BySurin Murugiah & Aniza Damis
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