KUALA LUMPUR: Just a day before the Court of Appeal is scheduled to decide next week on the fate of his appeal against a conviction for misappropriating RM42mil of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been granted a chance to show new evidence that might help him.
His application for new evidence to be adduced in his appeal over his 12-year jail sentence and a fine of RM210mil will be heard on Tuesday, a day before the Court of Appeal delivers its verdict on Wednesday.
The matter was also confirmed by Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and deputy public prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaran when contacted by Bernama yesterday.
Filed on Dec 1, Najib is applying for the Appeals Court to allow and to direct for viva voce evidence to be taken from Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki, MACC investigating officer Rosli Hussein, who was the 57th prosecution witness in the SRC case, as well as evidence of any other witness in relation to the case.
In an affidavit filed in support of his application, Najib, 68, said he had made the application without delay as soon as he was made aware of and was able to accumulate all the necessary information and documents.
Najib claimed that such information was not available or could not be obtained during his SRC trial at the High Court and when the Court of Appeal previously heard the appeal, hence he is asking the Court of Appeal to decide on this application before delivering its decision.
Najib stated that he made the application following the MACC’s press release dated Nov 19 this year, on the recovery of fund assets of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) inter alia from Singapore, whereby the Singapore government had repatriated a sum of US$15.4mil (RM65.1mil) to Malaysia relating to an account of Cutting-Edge Industries Ltd (CEIL) owned by Datuk Dr Tawfiq Ayman, the husband of former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
He added that in October and December 2020, articles were published by an online news portal which reported that Zeti and her family had received millions of dollars from fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, including funds linked to 1MDB.
Najib claimed that on Jan 20, 2021, his solicitors had written to the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Singapore Commercial Affairs Department to obtain verification and documentation relating to the accounts of CEIL, Iron Rhapsody Ltd, Jho Low as well as Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil (former chief executive officer of SRC) and the legal proceedings taken towards seizure of properties belonging to them
Najib said on March 24 this year, his solicitors received an email from an officer of the Commercial Affairs Department declining his solicitor’s requests and he was also unable to obtain the evidence that has now been credibly verified via the MACC’s press statement dated Nov 19 this year.