Najib may seek another change of defence lawyers in SRC appeal

PUTRAJAYA: There is a possibility that Datuk Seri Najib Razak may change his line-up of defence lawyers in the SRC International Sdn Bhd appeal again.

During a case management on Wednesday (Aug 10) for Najib's application to adduce fresh evidence in the hearing, his counsel repeated that they were not ready to proceed with the main appeal as it involves heavy issues.

They said they needed time to prepare as this was "no ordinary appeal".

ALSO READ: Najib appoints new lawyers for SRC case and seeks postponement

It was learned that the counsel indicated they had no choice but to discharge themselves from representing Najib if the court insisted on proceeding with the main appeal on Aug 15.

The Federal Court had fixed that date to start hearing the appeal, with the former premier having applied to amend his motion for fresh evidence and followed by the motion itself.

"If the motion is dismissed, the court will proceed with the main appeal proper.

"Counsel for the applicant will again make an oral application before the court to adjourn the main appeal after conclusion of arguments for motion for fresh evidence, and leave it to the court to decide," said a source.

ALSO READ: SRC International case: Federal Court denies Najib's application to postpone hearing

The case management was conducted before Federal Court deputy registrars Wan Fatimah Zahara Wan Yussof and Siti Hajar Mustaffa here.

On July 25, Najib had discharged Messrs Shafee & Co and took on Messrs Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners (ZIST) to represent him in his final appeal at the apex court.

The Federal Court was informed in a letter dated July 26 from ZIST that senior lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik of Messrs Hisyam Teh will be leading the appeal while Liew Teck Huat and Rueben Mathiaravanam, both from ZIST, will be co-counsel.

ALSO READ: Najib withdraws bribery claims against judge, but wants retrial

On July 28, 2020, High Court judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali (now a Court of Appeal judge) convicted and sentenced Najib on seven charges involving criminal breach of trust (CBT), money laundering and abuse of position, involving SRC funds, totalling RM42mil.

He was sentenced to 12 years' jail and a fine of RM210mil.

The conviction and sentence were upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Najib's final appeal at the Federal Court will be heard from Aug 15-19 and Aug 23-26. The previous date of Aug 22 has been vacated by the court.

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