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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Najib lawyers want appeal hearing delayed 3-4 months BUT rejects defense's fresh evidence bid

The Federal Court hearing of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s application to adduce fresh evidence in the RM42 million SRC International corruption case enters the second day this morning.

We will bring to you the live reports of the proceedings.


  • Court stands down to decide on defence application to postpone appeal hearing for 3-4 months

  • Apex court rejects defence’s fresh evidence bid

  • Defence argues trial judge risks bias due to past bank job

  • Prosecution says Najib’s affidavits for fresh evidence bid ‘scandalous, irrelevant’

Apex Court stands down to decide whether to postpone main SRC appeal hearing

1.30pm: Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat orders proceedings to stand down temporarily to decide on an application by Najib Abdul Razak’s defence team to postpone the main appeal hearing of the former premier’s RM42 million SRC case.

The chief justice had previously said the main appeal would proceed should the court dismiss the defence’s bid to adduce fresh evidence.

Defence seeks 3-4 months postponement of main appeal hearing

1.27pm: Najib Abdul Razak’s lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik applies for the apex court to postpone the main SRC appeal hearing for three to four months.

The counsel says there are strong points of law and arguments in favour of appellant Najib.

Apex Court rejects Najib’s bid to adduce fresh SRC evidence

1.23pm: The five-person Federal Court bench chaired by Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat unanimously rejects Najib Abdul Razak’s application to adduce additional evidence in his RM42 million SRC International case.

She ruled that the additional evidence has no relevance to the RM42 million SRC case against Najib and failed to show that trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali had a conflict of interest.

Proceedings resume

12.54pm: Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat enters the apex court to deliver a decision on Najib Abdul Razak's bid to adduce fresh evidence in the RM42 million SRC International case.

No ‘bossku’ supporters at court today

11.40am: It's relatively quiet outside the Federal Court today, with no supporters for Najib Abdul Razak present.

Yesterday, only a handful of people - including former Umno supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam - showed up in solidarity with him.

Najib normally has a group of supporters waiting for him outside court, especially when it’s at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex.

Media awaits apex court verdict on Najib’s fresh SRC evidence bid

11.32am: Journalists from local and foreign media are seen in the live streaming room at the Palace of Justice, waiting for the Federal Court’s verdict on Najib Abdul Razak’s application to adduce additional evidence in the RM42 million SRC International case.

Apex court to decide on additional evidence bid

10.21am: Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat announces that the five-person apex court bench will stand down to decide on Najib Abdul Razak’s bid to adduce fresh evidence in the SRC case.

Lawyer: Not seeking OSA documents, want answers from witnesses

10.14am: Najib Abdul Razak’s lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik says the prosecution’s contention, that the former premier is seeking privileged documents or those stamped under the Official Secrets Act from SRC-linked witnesses, is misplaced.

The defence lawyer submits that they are just seeking answers from the witnesses in relation to their claim that SRC trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali is in danger of bias.

Hisyam contends that answers from these witnesses - which include bankers and MACC officers - are relevant for the additional SRC evidence to be produced.

Defence lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik

‘Judge Nazlan has bias risk due to past bank job’

9.48am: Najib Abdul Razak’s lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik contends that despite the matter of SRC trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali being in the public domain, there still exists the risk of bias even if it’s just a possibility.

‘Affidavits scandalous, irrelevant’

9.41am: Deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram submits that Najib Abdul Razak’s affidavits in support of his additional evidence bid do not comply with rules for affidavits.

The prosecutor contends that the affidavits are scandalous and irrelevant as they have no nexus between the SRC charges against Najib and the allegation of conflict of interest levelled against trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

Deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram

Proceedings begin

9.37am: Najib Abdul Razak enters the dock as the hearing of his SRC additional evidence bid resumes.

Najib inside apex court

9.20am: Najib Abdul Razak is seen sitting in the public gallery while waiting for the hearing of his additional SRC evidence application to begin.

Also seen at the front of the courtroom waiting for proceedings to begin are the former prime minister’s counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik and deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram.

The former prime minister’s counsel, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, will make a counter-submission against the prosecution’s arguments that the bid is based on hearsay and unsubstantiated affidavits.

Under the law, hearsay is the report of another person’s words by a witness, which a court would usually disallow as evidence during a trial.

Yesterday, before the five-person apex court bench chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, the defence counsel submitted that Najib and his legal team were not aware of the alleged conflict of interest of trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali when the matter was before him in the High Court.

The former finance minister’s legal team contended that they only became aware of the issue following the anonymous delivery of envelopes containing the alleged fresh evidence to Najib between May 9 and July 7.

Najib’s additional evidence bid is backed by his affidavits over what three MACC officers and two bankers purportedly told the anti-graft watchdog during the SRC investigation.

His lawyers contended that the conflict of interest arose from Nazlan’s previous tenure as general counsel with Maybank.

The appellant claimed that the commercial bank was then involved in the formation of SRC.

Following Najib’s conviction and sentencing in the SRC case in July 2020, Nazlan, as the then High Court judge in Kuala Lumpur, has since been elevated to the Court of Appeal.

The other Federal Court bench members hearing Najib’s application in the SRC International corruption case are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and senior judges P Nallini, Mary Lim Thiam Suan and Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah.

Through the fresh evidence bid, Najib seeks to nullify his conviction over one count of abuse of power, three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and three money laundering charges involving RM42 million of funds from SRC, a former subsidiary of 1MDB.

On Dec 8 last year, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s guilty verdict against him.

In the event the Federal Court court dismisses the new evidence bid, it will proceed to hear Najib’s main SRC appeal, which also seeks to quash his sentencing of 12 years in jail and an RM210 million fine.

Previously a subsidiary of 1MDB, SRC later became fully owned by the Minister of Finance Inc - which also owned 1MDB - in 2012.

Najib also used to be SRC’s adviser emeritus and chairperson of 1MDB’s board of advisers. - Mkini

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