Judges in Zahid, Najib trials to be promoted to Court of Appeal

Salhan K. Ahmad

TWO High Court judges who were involved in a number of high profile cases, including those involving Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Najib Razak, are set to be elevated to the Court of Appeal, sources said.

The two judges – Collin Lawrence Sequerah and Mohamed Zaini Mazlan – have also heard cases involving Rosmah Mansor and former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

Court sources told The Malaysian Insight that the two judges will take the oath of office tomorrow.

The status of the cases still being heard by these judges will be decided by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, according a source.

“These public interest cases may continue under these judges until the final stage of hearing, or a new judge can take over.

“Just wait for the chief justice to give instructions,” said the official.

Sources confirmed a farewell ceremony took place today in appreciation of the judges’ services at the High Court.

Justice Sequerah is currently hearing the case of Zahid, who is now the deputy prime minister in Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s cabinet.

Zahid is facing 47 charges, of which 12 are for breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for laundering millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akal Budi.

Judge Sequerah is also hearing the case of former prime minister Najib who is alledged to have received RM2.3 billion in bribes as well as 21 charges of money laundering involving 1MDB funds.

In addition, he also first heard the corruption case Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, who allegedly asked for RM187.5 million and received RM1.5 million for a solar energy project for rural schools in Sarawak.

The case was subsequently transferred to Justice Zaini.

Judge Zaini is currently presiding over the 1MDB audit tampering case involving Arul and Najib.

Arul is accused of colluding with Najib in making amendments to the final report of the 1MDB audit to avoid action being imposed on the sixth prime minister.

Sources also said that there were also other movements in the judiciary, with two judicial commissioners being confirmed as High Court judges.

They are Kuala Lumpur High Court judicial commissioner Azhar Abdul Hamid and Shah Alam High Court judicial commissioner Norsharidah Awang.

In addition, High Court registrar Zaharah Hussain will become a judicial commissioner, sources said.

Tengku Maimun last week confirmed that two Federal Court judge and nine Court of Appeal judge positions would be filled soon.

She is reported to have said that the candidates had been submitted by the Judge Appointment Commission for scrutiny by the prime minister and the Council of Rulers.

Some of the names were submitted during the Ismail Sabri Yaakob administration and others when Anwar Ibrahim became the tenth prime minister, said Tengku Maimun as reported by The Edge Markets. – January 16, 2023.

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