KUALA LUMPUR — The Sessions Court allowed Datuk Seri Najib Razak to pay his RM3.5 million bail in instalments, starting with RM1 million today.
Sessions judge Azura Alwi said the instalments — as requested by Najib’s defence team — have to be fully paid up by next Friday.
“The bail is to be paid, starting from tomorrow (Friday) RM1 million, and subsequently, RM500,000 in instalments until Friday, Sept 28,” she said.
That would mean a one-week grace period to allow Najib to finish paying bail.
Earlier yesterday, the prosecution team led by Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram told the court it objected to bail being granted to Najib for the 25 counts of money laundering and power abuse charges of over nearly RM2.3 billion of funds.
Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said this was because the offences were “non-bailable” offences — where the accused is not entitled to bail and bail is subject to the court’s discretion.
The prosecution also said it was seeking RM5 million bail in two sureties and additional conditions, if the court chose to exercise its discretion to grant bail.
“This is because regard has to be had to the seriousness of the offences, the number of charges,” Gopal said, citing at one point the US attorney-general’s description of Najib’s conduct as allegedly the “worst case of kleptocracy”.
Gopal also sought for Najib to be barred from being in any public space except for religious purposes or to fulfil family duties as an additional condition for the bail.
Najib’s defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, however, cited various reasons to object to the RM5 million amount sought, which he said would be tantamount to punishing Najib before he has been convicted.
“RM5 million is not an easy amount to raise and not commensurate with the charges,” he told the court.
Shafee also objected to any bid to stop Najib from appearing in public as Najib is an MP and has to meet his voters.
He said Najib is not a flight risk as he had voluntarily showed up for Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and police investigations and had also given up his two international passports.
Shafee urged that that the maximum bail amount be fixed at RM500,000.
The judge decided to grant bail at RM3.5 million in two sureties but did not grant the other conditions.
Shafee said Najib’s son, Mohd Nizar and Mohd Shahrir Arifin, will act as the two guarantors.
The new charges yesterday will come up for mention on Nov 16. Shafee told reporters he would apply for the cases to be transferred to the High Court.