Malaysia Delays Najib's First Trial Day for 1MDB-Linked Charges

Anisah Shukry

(Bloomberg) -- The trial of Malaysia’s former leader Najib Razak has been delayed indefinitely, after previously being set to start on Tuesday.

The trial will remain on hold pending an appeal from Najib, said his lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah. Najib was set to face seven of the 42 counts of corruption and embezzlement over his role in state fund 1MDB on Tuesday, before the Monday ruling by the Court of Appeals to delay the trial. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The proceedings were already running behind schedule. Criminal trials in Malaysia should start no later than 90 days since charges were laid, but it has been seven months since Najib were presented with the allegations that will be debated in the trial on Tuesday. His legal team applied last week to further delay the proceedings.

“Malaysians are anxiously awaiting for the trials of the respective cases to start,” Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, a solicitor general at the Attorney General’s Chambers said in a Sunday statement. Attorney-General Tommy Thomas agreed that the 1MDB cases should be “expeditiously settled,” Mohamad wrote.

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