April 16, 2024

New Malaysia Times

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Federal Court sets March 31 for verdict in Najib’s review bid in SRC case

federal court

PUTRAJAYA, March 13 — The Federal Court has set March 31 to give its verdict in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bid to review his conviction and sentence of his RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

The decision date was confirmed by one of Najib’s lawyers Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee as well as deputy public prosecutor Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul when contacted by Bernama.

The Federal Court five-member bench led by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abdul Rahman Sebli had reserved the court’s decision on Feb 28 after they heard submissions for six days from Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and ad hoc deputy public prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram.

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

On Aug 23, 2022, Najib was sent to Kajang prison to begin serving his jail sentence after he lost his appeal to set aside his conviction, 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine for misappropriation of SRC International funds.

The former Pekan Member of Parliament then filed the review application under Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995, in a bid to overturn the decision made by the five-member bench of the Federal Court led by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat on Aug 23 last year in upholding his conviction, jail sentence and fine.

On July 28, 2020, High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali found him guilty of seven charges — three of which were on criminal breach of trust, three on money laundering, and one on abuse of power.

Justice Mohd Nazlan, who is now a Court of Appeal judge, sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and fined him RM210 million in default of five years imprisonment and his decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Dec 8, 2021.

Throughout the six-day proceedings, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had argued that the previous Federal Court bench which heard Najib’s appeal had made a fundamental error in law by not allowing the adjournment of the trial and not allowing Najib’s former counsel Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik to discharge himself.

Sithambaram, however, submitted that there was no breach of natural justice or miscarriage of justice or abuse of the court process in the case as the defence was given all opportunity to submit its final appeal but Hisyam chose not to take the opportunities given on the pretext that he was not prepared.

NMT as reported by Bernama