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Malaysian court allows Najib his preferred passport release dates

KUALA LUMPUR — Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak successfully applied for an amendment to the period of his passport release that would enable him to lead the Malacca elections.

Najib Razak (centre) arriving at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Oct 26, 2021.

Najib Razak (centre) arriving at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Oct 26, 2021.

KUALA LUMPUR — Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak successfully applied for an amendment to the period of his passport release that would enable him to lead the Malacca elections.

Three separate judges in the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Tuesday (Oct 26) allowed Najib to have his travel document release period revised to Oct 25 to Dec 6 for him to visit his new-born grandson in Singapore.

The Pekan MP’s new departure date is on Nov 21, a day after the Malacca elections, while his return date is Dec 5, when he will undergo quarantine for seven days.

Previously, the Court of Appeal allowed Najib’s impounded passport to be returned temporarily from Oct 20 to Nov 22 for him to visit his pregnant daughter Nooryana Najwa in Singapore.

The high court judges presiding over Najib’s corruption trials are Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan for Najib’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) audit report tampering trial, Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah for Najib’s 1MDB-Tanore trial and Justice Muhammad Jamil Hussin in the International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) trial.

In separate courts on Tuesday, all three judges permitted the request, subject to the agreement of the new arrangement of trial dates.

None of the lawyers in the prosecution teams for these trials objected to Najib’s application.

Najib’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah on Tuesday told Justice Zaini that Najib was needed to lead Barisan Nasional and Umno in the Malacca polls since the current Umno president (Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) has been hospitalised.

The nomination day of the Malacca polls falls on Nov 8, while polling date is Nov 20.

The Singapore trip would be Najib’s first overseas one in three years since the Barisan Nasional government lost the 14th general election in 2018.

Najib’s passport was seized by authorities following his arrest and subsequent corruption charges related to the 1MDB scandal in 2018.

On July 28 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court convicted the former prime minister of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and power abuse, involving RM42 million (S$13.6 million) belonging to 1MDB subsidiary SRC International.

Najib is currently appealing the conviction. He also faces other criminal cases.

In the 1MDB audit report tampering trial, he was charged with abusing his power to amend the 1MDB audit report before it was submitted to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to protect himself from disciplinary, civil and criminal actions.

As for the 1MDB-Tanore trial, the 68-year-old is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

And for the IPIC trial, Najib faces six counts of misappropriating some RM6.64 billion in government funds. The offences were allegedly committed between Dec 21, 2016 and Dec 18, 2017. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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Najib Razak 1MDB passport

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