Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak on Monday (Apr 1) filed a judicial review application against the Federal Court’s decision to lift the stay of proceedings order for his trial surrounding a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
This came just two days before he was due to answer seven charges on criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering over the alleged transfer of RM42 million (US$10.3 million) into his bank account from SRC International, a former unit of the scandal-hit state fund 1MDB.
One of Najib’s lawyers, Mr Harvinderjit Singh, said on Monday that no date was set for the hearing of the judicial review application.
Mr Singh said another corruption case involving Najib and RM2.28 billion of 1MDB funds was also mentioned in the High Court on Monday.
On Mar 27, a seven-man panel from the Federal Court lifted the stay of proceedings order earlier granted by the Court of Appeal.
Earlier, senior prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram informed the court that Chief Judge of Malaya Zaharah Ibrahim has agreed to give priority to the SRC International case rather than to the 1MDB case.
It was decided by the courts that the 1MDB trial would begin in May, depending on the schedule of the SRC International case, which was set to begin on Wednesday.
On Sep 20, 2018, Najib was charged with four counts under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act and 21 counts for money laundering involving 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion.
He allegedly committed the offences at AmIslamic Bank Berhad between 2011 and 2014.
The SRC International trial is the first of several criminal proceedings Najib is expected to face over the scandal, and the sum involved is a fraction of the US$1 billion investigators allege made its way to his bank accounts.
He faces years in prison if convicted on a total of 42 criminal charges, most of them linked to 1MDB.
At least six countries, including the United States, Switzerland and Singapore, have launched money laundering and graft investigations into 1MDB, set up by Najib in 2009.