PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Razak was not a director or shadow director in SRC International Sdn Bhd to be found guilty of misappropriating RM42mil of the company’s funds, the Court of Appeal was told.
The former prime minister’s counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah stressed that trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali adopted the civil law and common law concept of shadow director from England to convict his client.
“My Lord, Section 402A of the Penal Code on the definition of a director was ‘something similar to the shadow director’, but it was not the same as in England.
“Najib was not an insider in the company as required under the Penal Code to have committed criminal breach of trust (CBT). Najib was the outsider. The prosecution also did not establish the ingredients of the CBT charge to be called to enter defence, ” he added.
Shafee submitted this before a three-member bench led by Justice Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil in the hearing of Najib’s appeal against his conviction and jail sentence for misappropriation of RM42mil in SRC International funds.
The other two judges on the bench were Justices Has Zanah Mehat and Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.Shafee said the trial judge erred in law to import a common law from England to implicate the Pekan MP in the offence.
“My Lord, it must be proven that the appellant had control and was entrusted with the RM42mil to be found guilty.
“The appellant submits that the trial judge committed a grave error by relying on the common law and stretching the language of Section 402A of the Penal Code beyond the natural and ordinary meaning of the provision, ” he said, adding that this had caused serious prejudice and injustice to Najib.
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 on seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of position, involving the SRC International funds.
The court also extended the hearing of SRC International’s appeal for one more day to May 6.
The appeal was supposed to end yesterday, but Najib’s defence team could not wrap up its reply to the prosecution’s case, resulting in the court extending the hearing.
Earlier, Justice Abdul Karim rapped the former premier’s defence team for repeating themselves.“We are hearing the same points again and again. You are repeating yourselves. Most of the issues have been touched. Try to focus on something really substantive.
“We don’t know whether this point is about the Anti-Money Laundering Act or criminal breach of trust charges. Go to the main one. The most important thing is to make it clear so we can see clearer, or else it will confuse us all, ” the judge said.
When the judge asked whether the lawyer could finish his submissions by yesterday, Harvinderjit Singh replied: “My Lord, I, at least, need half a day to submit my part and after that Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee will touch on the Arab donation.
”Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram then stood up and jokingly said: “If you, my Lord, are not firm, we would be here until Hari Raya Haji, ” drawing laughter from the gallery.
Justice Abdul Karim then fixed May 6 for additional hearing of Najib’s appeal.
Najib’s appeal was intially set for 12 days from April 5 until 22. Later, on the application of his defence team, the bench set extra hearing days on April 27 and 28. — Bernama