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Najib, Zahid apply to expunge Singapore court trial’s 1MDB evidence

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 20/2/2018 V Anbalagan
a man wearing a suit and tie: khairuddin-abu-hassan © Provided by MToday News Sdn Bhd khairuddin-abu-hassan

KUALA LUMPUR Prime Minister Najib Razak and his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who are facing a suit for violating their oaths of office, have filed applications to remove records of proceedings presented in a Singapore criminal trial involving 1MDB.

In their applications filed last week, they said the proceedings were hearsay and could not be admitted in the present case here.

However, the plaintiff, Khairuddin Abu Hassan is objecting to the applications.

Last year, the High Court allowed Khairuddin to include the documents in support of his action against Najib and Zahid.

Meanwhile, Khairuddin said the applications to expunge the documents was absurd as the evidence came from a Commonwealth jurisdiction like Malaysia.

“It is illogical to claim that the Singapore court proceedings are not evidence, and this could amount to contempt of court,” Khairuddin told reporters after a case management today.

His lawyer Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar Al Mahdzar said he informed High Court senior assistant registrar Norasyida Abdul Rahman that his client would be filing a formal application to oppose the move to expunge the documents.

Syed Iskandar said Norasyida had instructed Khairuddin to file an affidavit to the applications by March 16, while Najib and Zahid had been given until March 29 to respond to the objection.

The next case management will be before justice Ahmad Zaidee Ibrahim on March 30.

Syed Iskandar said the documents were records of proceedings presented in the criminal trial involving Yeo Jiawei by the prosecution to show it was businessman Low Taek Jho who was giving directives in 1MDB.

Yeo, a former BSI Singapore wealth planner, was jailed for 54 months on July 12 for money laundering and cheating, in a case linked to a global probe involving billions of dollars allegedly misappropriated from the 1MDB state fund.

Yeo, 34, pleaded guilty and is serving the sentence concurrently with the remainder of an earlier 30-month jail sentence he was slapped with in December 2016 for witness tampering.

Khairuddin, a critic of 1MDB, in his statement of claim, said both leaders were unfit to be in the cabinet for misleading the public that RM2.6 billion in Najib’s account had come from an Arab donor.

He said Najib and Zahid failed to uphold their oath to protect and defend the Federal Constitution as prescribed under the Sixth Schedule of the constitution.

The former Batu Kawan Umno division vice-chairman, who was sacked from the party in 2015, wants a declaration that Najib is unfit to hold the prime minister’s post or to be a member of the cabinet established under Article 43 of the constitution.

Khairuddin, also wants a similar declaration against Zahid, who is also home minister.

He said both became trustees of their office in public law and were, accordingly, under duty not to knowingly misrepresent facts or to mislead citizens or to lie to them on material issues.

Khairuddin said sometime in March 2013, US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) was deposited into the private accounts of Najib, which he claimed belonged to 1MDB.

He said Najib had on several occasions publicly denied that the money belonged to 1MDB and instead declared that it had come from an Arab donor.

Khairuddin said Zahid, publicly as well as in the Dewan Rakyat, had declared that he had met the donor or donors of the US$681 million.

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