Najib's abuse of power charge illegal, Court of Appeal hears

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): The charge over abuse of power against Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case was wrong and illegal, the Court of Appeal heard Tuesday (April 27).

Najib’s counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said this was because the former premier had no personal nor pecuniary interest when he chaired Cabinet meetings that discussed government guarantees for SRC to obtain a loan from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP).

"Najib, as the prime minister, was the chairman of the Cabinet, which was the government of the day. The trial Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali was 100% wrong to conclude that he was using his position for any gratification.

"My Lord, as the then prime minister, Najib was the 'first among equals' in the Cabinet. At the end of the day, the Cabinet made a collective decision.

"It was not a decision by an individual (Najib), the prime minister, finance minister or representative of MoF Incorporated, ” he stressed.

The lawyer said it had become a total distraction because Najib was said to have participated in the Cabinet meetings in 2011 and 2012 to obtain for himself RM42mil from the RM4bil funds that was channelled through KWAP to SRC.

"We contend that there is no nexus between the decision taken to approve the government guarantee and the gratification that was intended, ” he said, adding that Najib was seriously prejudiced and disadvantaged.

Shafee submitted this Tuesday before a three-member bench led by Judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil in the hearing of the former premier’s appeal against his conviction and jail sentence for misappropriation of RM42mil in SRC International funds.

The other two judges on the bench were Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.

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

The hearing of the appeal continues Wednesday (April 28). - Bernama

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