KUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) has filed a formal application for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to apologise over his Facebook postings on his ongoing trial.
The application was filed at the Deputy Registrar's office here this morning by Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhammad Izzat Fauzan.
The AGC wants Najib to personally apologise to the High Court for publishing sub-judicial content on his Facebook at 9.30pm on July 15 and 11.23am on July 17.
It also wants an order prohibiting Najib from further publishing or causing the publication of similar statements in relation to his ongoing trial.
The AGC also wants an order directing Najib to remove the two contentious Facebook postings.
It was reported that Najib had commented on evidence given in court about his credit card expenses by uploading an explanation on his Facebook.
This happened after Yeoh Eng Leong, who is the Senior Vice-President of the AmBank Group (Credit Card, Authorisation and Banking Fraud Management), testified that Najib had spent RM3.35 million in a day at a Swiss jeweller in Italy using two of his credit cards.
Following the testimony, Najib explained on his Facebook that the witness had actually proved that he rarely used his credit card.
Najib said even though he was always accused of “buying this and that”, the entire credit card limit of RM3 million was used in that one day on Aug 8, 2014.
The former Finance Minister explained that the expenditure was a gift to a senior member of the royal family of a government as well as their envoy which has a good relationship with Malaysia.
He, however, said they were not from Saudi Arabia or Abu Dhabi.
“Their entire family as well as their envoy was with us during our family's visit to Italy at that time.
“It is a norm to give gifts to leaders of other governments. Usually it is the government that bears the cost of the gift,” he had posted, citing the case of the fourth prime minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) who gave a huge gift for the personal home of President Robert Mugabe from Zimbabwe previously, as example.
Najib, however, said he paid for the gifts using his personal credit cards.
He also posted that he had omitted the name of the recipient of his gift as it would be unfair for his name to be used publicly.
However, he said an original letter from the recipient of the gift who had thanked him would be adduced in court as evidence.
After Najib uploaded the above explanation, Attorney General Tommy Thomas submitted that Najib had committed sub-judice by commenting on the evidence.
In his afffidavit in support of his application today, Izzat argued that Najib can always put forward his version of events if he is ordered to enter his defence and decides to take the stand.
He said by uploading comments and explaining about evidence adduced in court over his Facebook, it was clear that Najib was attempting to state his defence using social media.
“This is clearly sub-judice and was done with intent to colour the evidence before this court.
“It is also clear that the accused is trying to garner support from the public to provide pressure and influence the court. Such an act is clearly improper and tantamount to interference in the administration of justice and the legal process,” he said.
Izzat said Najib's postings amount to comments and disclosure relating to judicial proceedings which prejudge and prejudice the evidence given by Yeoh.
Najib, 66, is facing six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust.
He is accused of transferring RM42 million into his accounts from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
He is also accused of abusing his power as then prime minister and finance minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International's RM4 billion loan from the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP).
The Pekan member of parliament is accused of committing the offences at the AmIslamic Bank Bhd, Jalan Raja Chulan, and the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between
Aug 17, 2011 and Feb 10, 2015.