KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic) will give the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial a miss this Friday (Nov 15) to fulfil his “statutory duty” in Johor.
The High Court dispensed the former premier from the hearing this Friday, which coincides with the eve of the Tanjung Piai by-election polling date.
His lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, in requesting for Najib to be excused, said he has a statutory condition in Johor and is completely legal.
He added that Najib’s attendance in court on Friday was not required and would not be much of a consequence.
The hearing this Friday before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, would be about the defence’s application for a list of witnesses offered to the defence and also a list of those not offered, including all their recorded statements.
Lead prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram objected and questioned the nature of Najib’s “statutory duty” in Johor as he is not an elected representative in the state.
Muhammad Shafee said Najib, who is the chairman of the Barisan Nasional advisory board, was required to assist in the campaigning for the Tanjung Piai by-election.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Shafee also requested that the hearing on Friday commence in the afternoon instead of in the morning as he had to attend the hearing of the murder case of Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Nazrin Hassan in Shah Alam.
There was a short war of words between the prosecution and the defence as Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas objected and insisted that the hearing be conducted in the morning.
Shafee: We start at 2.45pm. No matter how late, we finish it.
Thomas: The problem is that in this case, as we know, there has been no respect of time as such. I’m concerned that if we give in on Friday afternoon, we will not finish.
Shafee: First of all, I don’t know what my learned friend meant by disrespect of time. I don’t know about who he’s talking about. Certainly not from our side. But as my lord can appreciate, there must also be respect between judges. I don’t want to deprive the learned judge from his trial.
Justice Nazlan: We hear the application at 2.45pm this Friday. Submission the day before. -The Star