Court of Appeal dismisses Najib's bid to adjourn appeal hearing

PUTRAJAYA: The hearing of an appeal by Datuk Seri Najib Razak will proceed on Monday (April 5) after the Court of Appeal dismissed the former prime minister's application to adjourn the matter.

A panel of three appellate court judges, chaired by Justice Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, said the bench was unanimous in its decision that there was "no sufficient reason" to warrant an adjournment.

He said Najib must make a proper written application to adjourn the hearing in his appeal in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case, where the Pekan MP was convicted of seven graft-related charges involving RM42mil from SRC's funds.

"There is no sufficient reason to adjourn the hearing.

"We are disallowing the application for an adjournment," Justice Abdul Karim said.

Other judges on the bench were Justices Has Zanah Mehat and Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.

Earlier, Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had requested a one-month adjournment to put in "additional evidence" in their submission.

Muhammad Shafee said the defence wanted to obtain relevant documents - said to be linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and involving allegations against former Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz - from New York and Singapore.

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram objected to this, saying that the defence should have made its request well in advance of today's appeal.

"There is no application pending. This is actually another way of seeking an adjournment on non-valid grounds," Sithambaram added.

The former premier's defence team has submitted 307 grounds in his petition of appeal on why he should be cleared of the charges.

Among the grounds mentioned in the petition is that he had failed to get a fair and just trial in the case.

On July 28 last year, High Court judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali sentenced Najib to 10 years’ jail on each of the three counts of CBT as well as each of the three counts of money laundering.

Najib was also sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment and handed a RM210mil fine, in default five years’ jail, in the case of abuse of position.

However, he will only serve 12 years in jail as the judge ordered all the sentences to run concurrently.

Najib, 68, is currently out on bail of RM2mil in two sureties pending appeal.

The appeal hearing continues in the afternoon.

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