June 15, 2024

New Malaysia Times

Blog News Impose Expose

SRC Case: Najib breaches, betrays trust reposed on him – Judge

trust reposed

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 10 — The Court of Appeal ruled that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had not merely breached the trust reposed on him but had also betrayed it.

Hence, Justice Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil said, the sentence meted out by High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali against Najib of 12 years’ jail and a fine of RM210 million for misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds, as appropriate.

“We find that judge Mohd Nazlan in imposing the sentence that he did for each of the seven charges, had balanced the interests of the appellant (Najib) with that of the pain and suffering that he had inflicted upon the nation. Najib had not merely breached the trust reposed on him but betrayed it.”

“In circumstances such as this, when a prominent political leader of the land is arraigned before the court, convicted and sentenced, we find it would be the most appropriate for us to be reminded of the immortal words of former Lord President, Raja Azlan Shah, as the trial judge in Public Prosecutor v Datuk Harun Idris (former Menteri Besar of Selangor),” he said in a 308-page grounds of the written judgment.

trust reposed

Raja Azlan Shah before sentencing Harun had said, “I repeat what I had said before — the law is no respecter of persons. Nevertheless, it will be impossible to ignore the fact that you are in a different category from any person that I have ever tried. It would be impossible to ignore the fact that, in the eyes of millions of our countrymen and women, you are a patriot and a leader.”

“Even those who differ from you in politics look upon you as a man of high ideals. You had every chance to reach the greatest height of human achievement. But halfway along the road, you allowed avarice to corrupt you.”

“It is incomprehensible how a man in your position could not in your own conscience recognize corruption for what it is. In so doing, you have not only betrayed your party cause, for which you have spoken so eloquently, but also the oath of office which you have taken and subscribed before your Sovereign Ruler, and above all the law of which you are its servant.”

Justice Abdul Karim when remembering Raja Azlan Shah’s judgment, said: “Some 45 years later, these words still bear relevance to the appellant (Najib) and where we as a nation find ourselves at now.

“The ‘frightening decay in the integrity of some of our leaders’ that Raja Azlan Shah warned us of 45 years ago is still a scourge that plagues this beautiful nation. The courts in upholding the rule of law would have to do what is necessary to ensure that this modern-day plague is eradicated for the good of the nation.”

“The law is indeed ‘no respecter of persons’. All men are equal before the law and the courts apply the law equally to all.”

Justice Abdul Karim said the bench found that the High Court judge had adequately considered all factors that were relevant before passing the sentence against Najib.

 He said the role of an appellate court when it came to an appeal against sentence was very limited and it would not interfere in the trial judge’s exercise of sentencing discretion unless it was shown that the judge had erred in principle, or that the sentence was either manifestly inadequate or grossly excessive.

“The appellant had personally implored the court to take into consideration his personal circumstances, whilst the trial judge (Mohd Nazlan) did take that into consideration but in the final analysis, public interest warrants a custodial sentence,” said Justice Abdul Karim

Yesterday, Justice Abdul Karim who sat with Justices Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera unanimously upheld the conviction and 12 years’ jail and RM210 million fine on Najib for misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.

The bench unanimously dismissed Najib’s appeal to set aside the conviction and sentence imposed by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on July 28, 2020. 

Najib, 68, has his last avenue to appeal against the verdict at the Federal Court. His legal team filed the petition of appeal yesterday.

NMT as reported by Bernama