Najib Trial: Leaked court recording transcript dominate arguments

Najib Trial: Leaked court recording transcript dominate arguments

KUALA LUMPUR: The leaked court recording transcript (CRT) over the weekend dominated arguments of lawyers in the former premier Najib Razak’s trial today.

DPP V Sithambaram asked the court to make a ruling on the leakage since the CRT footage can only be obtained by signing an undertaking not to forward the copy to other parties, nor upload it onto any medium.

“We seek an undertaking from the defence not to give the CRT to any third party. The public and social media users should also be warned not to upload without permission from the court.

“We pray for a court order barring third parties from uploading the CRT without permission,” he tells the court.

Ex-premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s lead defence counsel, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah

However, defence counsel Shafee disagreed, arguing that it was the prosecution who objected to the defence’s application for a gag order on proceedings.

“If they had not objected, this issue would have been taken care of from the beginning,” he said.

Co- defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh backed Shafee.

“What is the difference between media recording (reporting) this minute-by-minute, and the recording of the video (of Friday’s proceedings)?

“The video is not the entire video (of the day’s proceedings), but excerpts from the cross-examination of the two witnesses,” he said.

Shafee pointed out that dissemination of CRT is a norm in the United Kingdom but Sithambaram disagreed as it was wrong and could be the basis to question court’s integrity.

Shafee countered that CRT should be made public to avoid biased reporting

The current trial former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak is over alleged misappropriation of funds amounting to RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Najib is facing one power abuse, three criminal breach of trust and three money laundering charges.

Najib’s former aide, Hizatul Isham Abdul Jalil uploaded the CRT of the trial on Friday over the weekend on social media. The CRT showed the testimony of the sixth and seventh prosecution witness – ABS Trend Master Sdn Bhd Zulkarnain (family name not listed by the prosecution) and MOZ Malaysia Sdn Bhd owner Mohammad Zakariyya Zearat Khan.

High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali however did not make a ruling as the matter is being probed by the police. He told both teams of lawyers that they must abide by their undertaking in handling CRT.

“Any transgression may result in the court no longer providing the CRT (to both parties).

“At the same time, everyone is reminded not to make prejudicial comments on the ongoing trial, including analysis of evidence and witnesses, that may prejudge the issue for determination before the court, which may constitute contempt of court.

“It is important that the matter does not detract the court from hearing the trial,” Nazlan ruled.

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