PUTRAJAYA (Nov 22): The Court of Appeal on Monday (Nov 22) fixed March 16 to hear former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s appeals for discovery to obtain documents in relation to Goldman Sachs and also the case on former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s family in relation to his 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-Tanore trial.
The date was fixed by appellate court senior assistant registrar Nadia Mohd Kamal following case management.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohamed Mustafa P Kunyalam appeared for the prosecution, while Nur Syahirah Hanafiah appeared for the former premier.
Najib filed the discovery application to obtain bank statements from the US on Goldman Sachs, and other related documents of certain companies believed to be related to Jho Low, as well as on Zeti’s husband Datuk Dr Tawfiq Ayman and their son from the prosecution.
He wanted the documents following the settlement the US financial institution had with the Malaysian government where a sum of US$2.5 billion was received as well as for another US$1.4 billion worth of possible assets to be recovered. Goldman Sachs was initially charged here but the charges were withdrawn following the settlement.
The American multinational investment bank was alleged to have mishandled three bonds totalling US$6.5 billion issued by 1MDB in 2012 and 2013.
In July, High Court Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah dismissed the Pekan Member of Parliament’s application, describing it as a “fishing expedition” and did not see how obtaining the documents could help in the defence when they are not in the prosecution’s possession.
“This is casting the net far and wide in expectations that something useful may materialise,” the judge added.
On Zeti, Justice Sequerah said he could not see how obtaining the documents from Zeti and her family is relevant to the defence’s case.
The court also described it as a “collateral attack” on the former BNM governor to obtain the documents, saying Najib is trying to question her credibility. He then suggested that the defence can question Zeti when she is called to the witness stand.
Zeti is scheduled to be called by the prosecution in Najib’s 1MDB-Tanore trial — and is slated to be its 26th witness.
At present, the trial has already heard testimonies of its 12th witness in former 1MDB chief financial officer Azmi Tahir and its 13th witness in former director Tan Sri Ismee Ismail.
Recently, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in a statement said the Singaporean government had also assisted in the return of assets worth US$15.4 million to Malaysia involving the accounts of Cutting Edge Industries Ltd owned by Tawfiq and Samuel Goh.