Wrap up by noon or break your fast here, judge tells defence

By , in Local on .

PUTRAJAYA, April 12 — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s legal team was asked to keep up its promise of wrapping up its submissions in the hearing of the former premier’s appeal in the RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd’s case by noon, tomorrow.

Court of Appeal judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil said, “Finish your submissions by noon, if not, you have to break your fast here,” drawing laughter from the gallery. 

The defence was supposed to have closed its arguments last Thursday but requested today as an additional day to finish its case.

However, as the hearing continued until 4.30 pm, Najib’s lawyer Farhan Read said he needed more time to finish submitting. 

by noon

However, lead prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said this would eat into the time allotted for the prosecution to present its arguments.

“They’ve taken six days to submit, I am given three days. The defence has eaten into our time and we have to swallow it. 

“They should finish it by tomorrow. We will submit starting Wednesday,” said Sithambaram. 

Earlier, Farhan said Najib had no pecuniary interest in SRC when the government guarantee was approved.

The defence argued that there was not an iota of evidence to suggest Najib was involved in or had knowledge of the RM42 million which was moved out of SRC into his accounts.

When explaining further the usage of the money, Harvinderjit Singh, another lawyer of Najib’s, said it should be noted that 98 per cent of it was used as contributions to political parties, political and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and charitable or non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

“The usage of the funds in this regard was consistent with the state of mind that the monies in his accounts was from legitimate sources,” the lawyer added.

Harvinderjit was submitting before Justice Abdul Karim, who presided over the appeal with Justices Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Vazeer Alam.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court had on July 28, last year sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and RM210 million fine after finding him guilty on seven charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), money laundering and abuse of position, involving RM42 million in SRC International funds. 

The hearing of the appeal continues tomorrow. 

BERNAMA

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