Final SRC appeal: Najib set to begin jail sentence

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has affirmed the conviction and sentence faced by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, in the broad grounds of judgment, said the five-judge panel had examined the merits of the case "in great detail".

Also read: Final SRC appeal: Federal Court finds Najib guilty (Live updates)

She said the apex court found that the conviction was safe on all seven charges and that the sentence was not excessive. She ordered that he be sent to jail immediately.

Najib had been sentenced by the High Court to 12 years in jail and fined RM210mil for seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power involving RM42mil from SRC's funds.

"These appeals are therefore unanimously dismissed and the conviction and sentence are affirmed.

I pronounce the warrant of committal," the CJ said.

Najib's lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik had stood up to request for a stay of execution pending a review application on the decision.

This was denied by the court.

"There is no legal provision for that. Court is adjourned," the CJ responded before leaving the courtroom Tuesday (Aug 23).

Other judges on the bench are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and Federal Court judges Justices Nallini Pathmanathan, Mary Lim Thiam Suan, and Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah.

Earlier, in the decision, the CJ touched on the defence's refusal to submit on the 94 grounds of appeal.

She said the panel had asked Hisyam repeatedly on whether he would want to submit but the counsel took the position that he would not.

"In the circumstances, we cannot but conclude from the above facts that the counsel, having been given every opportunity to make submissions on the merits of the appeals, refused to do so," she said.

In the absence of the submissions, the panel focused on the 94 grounds of appeal in the petition of appeal filed by Najib.

The CJ said Najib's complaints were essentially on two main issues:

1) That the Court of Appeal erred in fact and in law by finding that the High Court judge had correctly found that the prosecution had made out a prima facie case on all seven charges.

2) That the Court of Appeal erred in fact and in law by finding that the High Court judge had correctly appreciated the defence and that it was argued that the defence managed to raise a reasonable doubt on all seven charges.

The apex court, however, said that the trial judge was correct when he held that all the ingredients of the seven charges were established at the close of the prosecution’s case.

"The appellant was thus rightly called upon to enter his defence on all the seven charges.

"In the circumstances, we fail to see how and where any of the learned trial judge’s findings leading to the ultimate finding that a prima facie case had been made out, are perverse," the CJ said.

The Federal Court also found that the findings of the High Court on the defence were correct.

"In concluding that the defence failed to raise a reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case, we find that the learned High Court judge had undertaken a thorough analysis of the evidence produced by the defence.

"Thus, we are unable to conclude that any of the findings of the High Court, as affirmed by the Court of Appeal were perverse or plainly wrong so as to warrant appellate intervention.

“We agree that the defence is so inherently inconsistent and incredible that it does not raise a reasonable doubt on the prosecution case," she said.

After the proceedings adjourned, Najib's family was seen sitting with him in the dock.

His wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, sons Mohd Nizar and Norashman and daughter Nooryana Najwa were with him in the dock.

Here is the full judgment

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