July 16, 2024

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Federal Court to decide Najib’s bid to review SRC verdict before March 31

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PUTRAJAYA, Feb 28 — Hearing on Najib Tun Razak’s application for a review of his RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd’s case at the Federal Court completed today after both parties submitted their arguments for six days.

Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli who chaired a five-member bench said the court, however, needed time to deliberate and the parties will be notified of the date no later than March 31, for the court to deliver its decision.

“We are not in the position to decide the matter today,” he said.

The other four judges on the bench were Federal Court judges Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Nordin Hassan and Court of Appeal judge Datuk Abu Bakar Jais.

federal court

Throughout the six-day proceedings, Najib’s counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah argued that the earlier bench that heard Najib’s main appeal made a fundamental error in law by not allowing the adjournment of the trial and then not allowing Najib’s ex-counsel Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik to discharge himself.

The counsel also stressed that a Facebook posting by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat’s husband on May 11, 2018, before the 14th general election, amounted to a public declaration of hatred against Najib.

He said the top judge should have known about the public post and asked the involved parties whether she should recuse herself from the panel.

Meanwhile, ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram concluded that there was no breach of natural justice or miscarriage of justice or abuse of the court process happened in the case as the defence was given all opportunity to submit the final appeal, but Hisyam chooses not to seize the opportunities given on the pretext that he was not prepared.

He further said that Najib had taken on new lawyers with the hope of postponing the hearing of the appeal and so the court had the right to refuse the adjournment sought.

Najib, in his review application, is seeking to overturn the decision made by a five-member bench of the Federal Court led by Justice Tengku Maimun on Aug 23 last year in upholding his conviction and 12-year jail sentence and fine for misappropriation of RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.

NMT as reported by Bernama