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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Najib may lose lawyers again


Tough call: Lawyers representing Najib (left) in the SRC International Sdn Bhd appeal case say they need more time to prepare as this is “no ordinary appeal”. — Filepic

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s line-up of lawyers in the SRC International Sdn Bhd appeal case is likely to change again if the defence team discharges itself over time constraints.

During case management for Najib’s application to adduce fresh evidence in the hearing, the team repeated that it was not ready to proceed with the main appeal as it involved heavy issues.

The lawyers said that they needed more time to prepare as this was “no ordinary appeal”.

It is learnt that the counsel had indicated that they would have no choice but to discharge themselves from representing the applicant (Najib) if the court insisted on proceeding with the main appeal on Aug 15.

In the proceedings, the Federal Court fixed the appeal on Aug 15 starting with Najib’s application to amend his motion for fresh evidence, followed by the motion itself.

“If the motion is dismissed, the court will proceed with the main appeal proper. Counsel for the applicant will again make an oral application before the court to adjourn the main appeal after the conclusion of arguments for the motion for fresh evidence and leave it to the court to decide,” said a source.

The case management was conducted before Federal Court deputy registrars Wan Fatimah Zahara Wan Yussof and Siti Hajar Mustaffa here yesterday.

On July 25, Najib discharged Messrs Shafee & Co and took on Messrs Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners (ZIST) to represent him in his final appeal at the apex court.

The Federal Court was informed in a letter dated July 26 from ZIST that senior lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik of Messrs Hisyam Teh will be leading the appeal while Liew Teck Huat and Rueben Mathiaravanam, both from ZIST, will act as co-counsel.

On July 28, 2020, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali (now a Court of Appeal judge) convicted and sentenced Najib on seven charges involving criminal breach of trust, money laundering, and abuse of position, involving SRC funds, totalling RM42mil.

He was sentenced to 12 years in jail and a fine of RM210mil.

The conviction and sentence were upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Najib’s final appeal at the Federal Court will be heard from Aug 15 to Aug 19, Aug 23 and Aug 26. The previous date of Aug 22 was vacated by the court. - Star

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