KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution in former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s (pic) SRC International case says the allegations by the former premier against judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali are a desperate attempt to nullify the trial.
Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul, in reply to Najib’s supporting affidavit in his application to obtain a declaration that the SRC trial was null and void and to request a retrial, said the claim that there was a conflict of interest involving the judge, who previously held a position in Maybank Berhad, could have been raised during the trial.
However, the former prime minister chose not to do so because the issue was invalid, he added on Thursday (July 21).
Mohd Nazlan, a High Court judge at the time and now a Court of Appeal judge, sentenced Najib to 12 years in prison and fined him RM210mil after finding him guilty on seven charges of misappropriating RM42mil in SRC International funds.
Touching on Najib's statement regarding the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) investigation of Mohd Nazlan, Mohd Ashrof said it was full of scandals aimed at defaming Mohd Nazlan's reputation as a trial judge.
"Najib's alleged personal knowledge of the MACC investigation is untrue because the MACC, as an independent enforcement agency, will not disclose confidential information regarding an ongoing investigation," he added.
Mohd Ashrof said there was no conflict of interest when Mohd Nazlan sat as the trial judge for the SRC case and that Najib himself had even said there was no allegation of corruption against the judge.
He said the claim of a conflict of interest due to Mohd Nazlan’s capacity as chief counsel and company secretary of the Maybank Group in a RM140mil loan to Puncak Perdana Sdn Bhd and RM4.17bil to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) could not be proven.
"In any case, the allegation is irrelevant to the charges faced by the applicant (Najib) in this appeal. The real purpose (the document regarding the alleged conflict of interest), which is a worthless document, was presented is to discredit Mohd Nazlan," he said.
On Dec 8 last year, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal led by Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil dismissed the Pekan MP's appeal which prompted him to take the matter to the Federal Court.
The Federal Court set 10 days from Aug 15 to hear Najib's final appeal against the conviction and the prison sentence and fine imposed on him by the High Court.
On Thursday, the Kuala Lumpur High Court also dismissed an application by Queen's Counsel Jonathan Laidlaw to represent Najib in his SRC appeal. – Bernama