Wrap up by noon or break your fast here, judge tells Najib's defence

A file picture of Datuk Seri Najib Razak arriving for his appeal hearing against his conviction and jail sentence for misappropriation of RM42mil in the SRC International case at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya on April 6, 2021. – AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's legal team was asked to keep its promise of wrapping up its submissions in the hearing of the former premier’s appeal in the RM42mil SRC International Sdn Bhd’s case by noon, Tuesday (April 13).

Court of Appeal judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil said,"Finish your submissions by noon, if not, you have to break your fast here," drawing laughter from the gallery.

Tuesday is the first day of the holy month of Ramadan where Muslim fast from dawn to dusk.

The defence was supposed to have closed its arguments on Thursday last week but requested Monday (April 12) as an additional day to finish its case.

However, as the hearing continued until 4.30pm, Najib's lawyer Farhan Read said he needed more time to finish submitting.

However, lead prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said this would eat into the time allotted for the prosecution to present its arguments.

"They’ve taken six days to submit, I am given three days. The defence has eaten into our time and we have to swallow it.

"They should finish it by tomorrow. We will submit starting Wednesday," said Sithambaram.

Earlier, Farhan said Najib had no pecuniary interest in SRC when the government guarantee was approved.

The defence argued that there was not an iota of evidence to suggest Najib was involved in or had knowledge of the RM42mil which was moved out of SRC into his accounts.

When explaining further the usage of the money, Harvinderjit Singh, another lawyer of Najib’s, said it should be noted that 98 per cent of it was used as contributions to political parties, political and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and charitable or non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

"The usage of the funds in this regard was consistent with the state of mind that the monies in his accounts was from legitimate sources," the lawyer added.

Harvinderjit was submitting before Justice Abdul Karim, who presided over the appeal with Justices Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Vazeer Alam.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court had on July 28, last year sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and RM210mil fine after finding him guilty on seven charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), money laundering and abuse of position, involving RM42mil in SRC International funds.

The hearing of the appeal continues Tuesday.- Bernama

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Najib , wrap up , promise , judge , SRC , hearing , appeal


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