KUALA LUMPUR: The SRC International Sdn Bhd trial involving Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic) has been regarded as the worst case of abuse of position, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering by the High Court judge who convicted the former prime minister.
Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said he would not hesitate to characterise the case as one that fell within the range of "the worst kind" of abuse of position, CBT and money laundering not only because of how the crimes were committed but also because of the huge sum of money involved and the element of public impact.
"And perhaps most importantly, it involved the person who at the material time, was in the highest ranking authority in the government," he said in his 801-page grounds of judgment dated Aug 21,2020.
The grounds of judgment, sighted by The Star, formed part of the appeal record sent to the Court of Appeal.
Justice Nazlan also remarked that Najib did not express any remorse over his action and even maintained his defence that he had no knowledge of the RM42mil from SRC in his mitigation speech.
(In his mitigation speech where he directly addressed the judge, Najib had described his achievements over his years as premier, and cited the Muslim oath to deny any knowledge where the money came from.)
Justice Nazlan said there was no denying that Najib had indeed made contributions to the well-being and the betterment of the nation during his tenure as the prime minister for nine years.
"Political history will continue to debate whether he has done on balance more good than harm. But this very process would arguably be inimical to the ideals of a clean administration that does not tolerate corruption and abuse of power," he said.
The court also found it of no use to figure out the reasoning behind Najib's offences.
"There is little merit in this court pontificating and lamenting on why the accused had done what he did, despite (or because of) his undisputed standing at the apex of the vast wealth of power and unparalleled authority.
"The accused, I repeat, is a person with a keen intellect and must surely have a firm sense of right and wrong," he added.
On July 28, the Pekan MP was found guilty of one count of power abuse, three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and three counts of money laundering involving the RM42mil from SRC International, a unit of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Justice Nazlan sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and a fine of RM210mil, in default of five years' jail for the single count of abuse of power.
Najib was sentenced to 10 years' jail each for the three counts of CBT and three counts of money laundering. All jail time was ordered to run concurrently.
On July 30, Najib filed a notice of appeal against his conviction and sentence, two days after his conviction.
Oct 15 has been fixed for case management in the appeal.
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