High Court to decide on admissibility of former 1MDB CEO’s witness statement

Former 1MDB CEO Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman (Photo by Mohd Izwan Mohd Nazam/The Edge)

Former 1MDB CEO Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman (Photo by Mohd Izwan Mohd Nazam/The Edge)

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah will decide today whether excerpts from former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) chief executive officer Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman’s witness statement is admissible in court at the 1MDB-Tanore trial.

Hazem, who was supposed to take the stand as the 10th prosecution witness yesterday and read his witness statement, did not have the opportunity as defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah filed an application to dispute Hazem's witness statement as hearsay. 

Muhammad Shafee argued that 24 pages out of the over 100 pages containing Mohd Hazem's witness statement were hearsay and should be inadmissible in court.

In legal context, hearsay is an out-of-court statement used in court as evidence for a case.

Shafee argued that the hearsay in the statement would further incriminate his client Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is facing four counts of abuse of power for using his position as the then prime minister, finance minister and 1MDB board of advisers’ chairman to receive gratification worth RM2.28 billion.

He also faces 21 counts of money laundering involving over RM4.3 billion.

After about two hours of submissions from Shafee and Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib, Justice Sequerah said he will make his decision when the trial resumes this afternoon. 

If the statement is allowed, Hazem will then take the stand to testify.

The Edge is covering the trial live here.

Users of The Edge Markets app may tap here to access the live report.

Surin Murugiah