Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s lawyer proposed using the deed to his client’s Jalan Langgak Duta mansion as collateral for the bail amount instead of paying with cash, but his request was quickly turned down by the prosecution.
According to Malay Mail, lawyer Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah told the High Court on Wednesday (Jul 4) that Najib could not afford the bail amount as the prosecution demanded.
Malaysia’s attorney-general Tommy Thomas, whose team consisted of 11 other deputy public prosecutors, proposed that bail be set at RM4 million ($1 million) with two sureties.
Initially, Shafee requested the bail amount to be reduced to RM500,000 and explained the original amount would have forced Najib’s family to resort to soliciting funds from relatives and friends in order to to raise that much money.
He later proposed to have the land title to Najib’s family mansion be used as collateral instead.
However the prosecution rejected Shafee’s offer as it was deemed impractical.
“Why should the prosecution be saddled with the practical difficulties?” questioned Thomas.
Nonetheless, the High Court subsequently lowered the bail amount to RM1 million and allowed Najib to pay half of the sum on Wednesday, with the balance to be settled by 3pm next Monday (Jul 9), reported Free Malaysia Today.
The arrangement was made after Shafee told the court that Najib’s family would not have access to further funds as their bank accounts were frozen by the 1MDB Task Force.
In addition, the court granted an interim gag order until Aug 8 when the case will be mentioned and an application for a full gag order will be heard.
A total of 19 days was proposed for the trial in 2019, from Feb 18 to 28, Mar 4 to 8 and Mar 11 to 15, not including weekends.
Najib was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and one count of graft. Each charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years while the graft charge entails an additional fine of at least five times the value of gratification.
The former head of government pleaded not guilty to all the charges.