Najib’s lawyers continue appeal on SRC case, seek new panel of judges

The remaining four judges on the panel hearing the SRC International case can still decide the verdict of the case if the Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat recuses herself from hearing the final appeal of former premier Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, says a lawyer. This morning, Najib’s lawyers made a last minute appeal to following his application to recuse her from the case.

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 18 – Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today continued with his final appeal at the Federal Court against his conviction of guilt given by the High Court on July 28, 2020 in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

His lead lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik informed the court this morning that his client had submitted an application on Monday night to have Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat recused from presiding over the hearing of his final appeal in the case.

He sought to have the application heard first.

To this, prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram informed the court that the copy of the application was not before the court.

Subsequently, the court went into a break with the CJ instructing that the application to recuse her is produced at the court before the court resumes.

The application is based on a comment made by the husband of the CJ, Zamani Ibrahim, in Facebook, which is said to have expressed the latter’s happiness on being “dethroned” in 2018. Najib has alleged prejudice on the part of the CJ, saying as the wife of Zamani, she would have been influenced in her thinking.

Meanwhile to a question on whether the other four judges on the panel can still give a verdict on the case, a lawyer said that it was possible.

Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali had found Najib guilty of seven charges, comprising one count of abuse of power with regard to the Retirement Fund Inc’s (KWAP) RM4 billion loan to SRC and three counts each of criminal breach of trust and abuse of power with regard to RM42 million of SRC’s funds.

Najib began his appeal process after he was sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million. The Court of Appeal upheld the conviction on Dec 8 last year.

On Monday, the Federal Court rejected his lawyers’ application to introduce new evidence in the hearing. The request to postpone the trial by another one to three months was also rejected.

Subsequently, his lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, who applied to resign from the case and was rejected, said he would not be making any fresh written or oral submission to defend his client on the case.

The prosecution made its submission Friday.

Najib’s final appeal before the Federal Court today is also being heard by the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and Federal Court judges Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan, Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan and Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd, .