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Unfazed by graft trial proceedings, ex-PM Najib reads, chats during breaks

Unfazed by graft trial proceedings, ex-PM Najib reads, chats during breaks

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (centre) walks out from Kuala Lumpur High Court on Apr 15, 2019. (Photo: AP)

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysia prime minister Najib Razak appears to have prepared himself for a drawn-out graft trial, reading and chatting during breaks in the proceedings on Monday (Apr 15) as he appeared in court for the second day of the hearing.

He was seen keeping himself busy with his mobile phone and reading during breaks in the proceedings.

According to media reports, he was reading Dunia Tanpa Tembok (World Without Walls) by Ayman Rashdan Wong. The book is a collection of 50 articles on international geopolitics.

He was also seen reading Jangan Selewengkan Ekonomi Malaysia (Don’t Mess Up Malaysia’s Economy) by Kauthar Rozmal Khairul Azri and Najib Saahari.

The book looks at the blame game played by both sides of the political divide regarding Malaysia’s economic policies.

Najib told journalists that he was pleased with Barisan Nasional’s victory in the Rantau by-election held over the weekend.

According to a report by the New Straits Times, he said that he was popular with Rantau voters, but lamented that he seemed to have fallen out of favour with the mainstream media.

READ: Commentary - In Malaysia, where identity politics trumped all for the third time

On Monday, Najib returned to court for the second day of his high-profile corruption trial. He is accused of plundering large sums from a unit of sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The proceedings were adjourned in the late afternoon after the prosecution informed the court that the process of photocopying the documents needed by Najib's defence was taking longer than expected.

Factfile on the Malaysian 1MDB corruption allegations and charges faced by Malaysia's former leader Najib Razak. (Image: AFP/Laurence Chu, John Saeki)

Najib and those linked to him are accused of stealing billions of dollars from 1MDB and spending it on everything from high-end real estate to artworks and a luxury yacht.

He has consistently denied any wrongdoing over the looting of 1MDB.

The US Department of Justice, which is investigating the 1MDB controversy as money was allegedly laundered through the American financial system, believes US$4.5 billion in total was looted from the fund.

READ: Malaysia's ex-PM Najib gears up for graft trial with charm offensive 

On Tuesday, Najib again turned up for the third day of the trial holding two books. The titles were obscured by his hands.

There was little fanfare, with most of his supporters absent.

Source: CNA/aw(hm)


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