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KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 ― Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bid to acquire 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) related documents involving former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s family and the United States investment bank, Goldman Sachs, will be heard at the High Court here on May 31.
Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah set the date after Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam informed the court that the prosecution needs more time to reply to both discovery applications filed by Najib’s defence team.
“We received the cause papers on April 12 (of the second discovery application) and we need at least two weeks to reply to the applications,” Mohamad Mustaffa said during mention of the case today.
Mohamad Mustaffa also informed the court that a similar application (related to Zeti’s family) had been scheduled for hearing on May 20 and the prosecution proposed for both applications to be heard together on a later date.
Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah did not object to the prosecution’s request.
On March 24, Najib made a discovery application to compel the prosecution to produce several banking statements and other documents to his defence team, which were believed to be related to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low and Zeti’s family.
On April 5, Najib’s legal team filed a second discovery application to seek a confidential agreement signed between the government of Malaysia and Goldman Sachs, where it was reported that Goldman Sachs had reached an agreement with Malaysia to pay US$2.5 billion (RM10.4 billion) in cash and guarantee the return of US$1.4 billion (RM5.8 billion) from 1MDB assets seized around the world in exchange for Malaysia to drop criminal charges against the US investment bank.
In the affidavit affirmed by Najib relating to the second application, the Pekan MP claimed the disclosure of the Goldman Sachs settlement is crucial to his defence and his right to a fair trial.
“In light of such an arrangement between Goldman Sachs and the government, I am concerned that the settlement may contain a clause that requires the bank and its employees to cooperate with the prosecution and such cooperation would include its employees being called as the witness in the 1MDB trial.
“In such circumstances, I verily believe that such clause in the Goldman Sachs settlement agreement obliges and compels such witnesses to give evidence favourable to the prosecution and to suppress evidence favourable to my defence,” said Najib in his affidavit.
Najib also seeks the transcripts or forensic report from the phones of Tim Leissner, who is a former Goldman partner in Asia, as well as data stored on Goldman Sachs’ server involving Leissner’s communication.
Najib, 68, is currently on trial on four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount. ― Bernama