PUTRAJAYA, April 5 — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s appeal against his conviction and jail sentence for misappropriation of RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds proceeded today after the Court of Appeal rejected the former premier’s bid to postpone the hearing.
A three-member bench led by Judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil dismissed Najib’s application to adjourn the hearing after counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informed that they have additional evidence to put it in their appeal including the evidence related to the family of former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
“We are unanimous in this. There is no sufficient reason to adjourn the hearing. We are disallowing the application for an adjournment,” said judge Abdul Karim, who presided over the appeal with justices Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.
Earlier, Muhammad Shafee said they needed at least a one-month adjournment to get some relevant documents from New York and Singapore.
“The documents are linked to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and also involved allegations against Zeti’s family. We need at least one month to put in additional evidence in our submission. We are seeking for an adjournment of the hearing,” Muhammad Shafee said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram objected to the request, saying that they (applicant) should make any application earlier before the hearing commenced.
“There is a non-valid ground for them to ask for an adjournment. We pray that there is no more delay and ask the court to proceed with the case,” he said.
Najib has submitted 307 grounds in his petition of appeal on why he should be freed of the charges.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court had, on July 28 last year, sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and fined RM210 million after finding him guilty on seven charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), money laundering and abuse of position, involving RM42 million of SRC funds.
High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali sentenced Najib to 10 years’ jail on each of the three counts of CBT and each of the three counts of money laundering and 12 years’ jail and a RM210 million fine, in default five years’ jail, in the case of abuse of position.
However, he will only serve 12 years in jail as the judge ordered all the jail sentences to run concurrently.
Najib is currently out on bail of RM2 million in two sureties pending appeal.