Even though his brother was Umno politician, judge could have heard my case, says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: A letter Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wrote to Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim has grabbed the attention at a court proceeding.

Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah brought up the letter before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who was presiding over the case for the first time after taking over High Court 3 from previous judge Justice Mohd Sofian Abd Razak.

Justice Mohd Sofian, who was transferred to a civil court, became the subject matter in the letter.

“This is an instruction by my client. It is not written in the view to recuse any judge.

“This is written as an observation to the flaw in administration of justice in this country, in relation to this case,” Muhammad Shafee said during the criminal proceeding in Najib’s case at the High Court here yesterday.

In the nine-page letter, which was made available to the media after proceedings ended, Najib raised his concern about the transfers of the affected judges in the criminal division.

It referred to the controversy of Justice Mohd Sofian being urged to recuse himself after it became known that he was the brother to Pahang state executive councillor and Umno’s Benta assemblyman Datuk Seri Mohd Soffi Abdul Razak.

In the letter, Najib said Justice Mohd Sofian had no reason to recuse himself and therefore, need not have to disclose his brother’s position in Umno.

“Ironically, all concerned parties in the proceedings have not applied for Justice Mohd Sofian to be recused,” he said.

Copies of the letter, which was dated Aug 7, have been sent to the court, Justice Mohd Sofian and the Attorney General’s Chambers.

Justice Mohd Nazlan said he had received the letter, but said he had no intention of saying anything more about it.

DPP Manoj Kurup said it was an ordinary transfer of judges.

“We should let the Chief Judge of Malaya respond to the letter, and not here,” he said.

Outside the court room, Muhammad Shafee told reporters that the letter was raised in open court to put it on the record.

“It is not only unfair to Justice Mohd Sofian as he did not do anything wrong.

“It is also unfair to Justice Mohd Nazlan as some may look at him with a jaundiced eye, wondering why was he put here and whether he was transferred because he had a mission,” the senior lawyer added.

On July 24, Zaharah signed a transfer order for Justice Mohd Sofian to be transferred to new civil court (NCvC 10).

Justice Mohd Nazlan was transferred to High Court 3 from the commercial division.

The transfers took effect on Aug 1.

Courts Crime , letter , najib , shafee abdullah