(Bloomberg) -- A Malaysian court is set to decide if prosecutors have made a sufficient case against ex-premier Najib Razak in the trial involving a former unit of troubled state-owned investment firm 1MDB.
Najib is set to appear in a Kuala Lumpur court on Monday, when the judge will announce whether the charges against him will be struck out or if the case will proceed by ordering him to enter his defense. Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
Attorney-General Tommy Thomas‘s success in building a strong enough case against Najib is key to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad maintaining public support. Mahathir returned to power last year on a campaign to oust Najib and bring those responsible for the 1MDB scandal to justice.
Since the hearing started in April, prosecutors have called in dozens of witnesses, including a central bank official and a former cabinet minister, to argue Najib engaged in a “planned, premeditated criminal breach of trust case” that ran over many years. His lawyers said he had been misled by others, including fugitive financier Jho Low, who faces his own set of charges linked to 1MDB.
The current case, which revolves around seven corruption charges, hinges on whether Najib knew the 42 million ringgit ($10 million) deposited in his accounts came from a former unit of 1MDB known as SRC International Sdn. Prosecutors had said it was “incredible” for Najib to say he wasn’t aware of the sum sent to his accounts since he made no police reports and didn’t sue the bank for wrongful deposit.
His lawyers argued there was no link between the sum and Najib’s decisions related to SRC, which they said would mean the funds don’t constitute a bribe and the charges should be dismissed.
To contact the reporters on this story: Anisah Shukry in Kuala Lumpur at firstname.lastname@example.org;Hadi Azmi in Kuala Lumpur at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Yudith Ho at firstname.lastname@example.org, Ruth Pollard
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.