1MDB trial postponed due to Sri Ram’s death

1MDB trial postponed due to Sri Ram’s death

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today postponed the hearing of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s trial involving the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.

Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed the postponement following a request by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib following the sudden passing of Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who was described “like a father figure to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)’s prosecution’s team”.

“My Lord, you know, Sri Ram was our boss and team leader and he is like a father to all of us. Today was set for continued hearing. But in light of the sudden demise of Sri Ram, we seek an adjournment for two days,” said Ahmad Akram.

He requested an adjournment for today and tomorrow to redistribute the case workload and to attend Sri Ram’s wake tomorrow.

“His wake for non-family members to pay their respects is tomorrow at Nirvana 2 Kuala Lumpur between 8 am to 1 pm and he will then be cremated at Nirvana Shah Alam,” said Ahmad Akram.

Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah did not object to it.

“We have no objections to the adjournment and our condolences to the prosecution team,” said the veteran counsel.

The court then allowed the postponement and fixed Thursday to continue the hearing.

The trial had been fixed to continue today with the defence to continue with its cross-examination of former Ambank relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping.

Sri Ram passed away yesterday at the age of 79 at a private hospital here. He was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) last week for a lung infection.

Sri Ram was the lead prosecutor in Najib’s 1MDB corruption case.