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Malaysia’s former PM Najib Razak to go on trial on Feb 12; application for gag order on media dismissed

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor August 12, 2018 13:35

Malaysia’s former PM Najib Razak to go on trial on Feb 12; application for gag order on media dismissed

Malaysia’s High Court dismissed an application by former prime minister Najib Razak for a gag order on the media, prohibiting it from discussing the merits of the criminal cases against him.In his decision, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said the application was unsustainable, as there are existinglaws available.”Those who overstep (in reporting) risk action being taken – such as contempt of court – and these remedies are readily available,” he said.The judge, in his assessment, said that the applicant had fallen short of establishing his case.Najib’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informed the court that the defence would be filing an appeal next Monday (Aug 13) against the High Court’s decision.The defence and prosecution took an entire day in court for submissions.Earlier, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee submitted that the media furore surrounding his client’s alleged criminal wrongdoings and the resulting public backlash had presupposed the guilt of his client.It is not a dramatic observation to say that the public sentiment against the applicant is prejudiced to such an extent that nothing short of a conviction upon all charges would qualify as justice in the eyes of the public,” he said, adding that the prosecution is a result of political will made manifest.Mr Muhammad Shafee said that the present administration – namely Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Special Officer to the Finance Minister Tony Pua – have weighed in on the case and continually “supported the public’s call for blood”.On July 4, High Court judge Justice Mohd Sofian Abd Razak, who earlier presided over the case, granted an interim gag order.After a string of criminal charges last month, Najib on Wednesday was also charged with three counts of money laundering amounting to RM42 million (S$14.1 million) linked to SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor August 12, 2018 13:35
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