Najib complicit with lawyers in trying to get SRC appeal adjourned, says prosecutor

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Razak was complicit with his new counsel in seeking an adjournment during the final appeal in the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial at the Federal Court, says the prosecution.

It added that the former prime minister did this despite knowing that the hearing dates had been fixed four months before.

Lead prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said Najib had taken on new lawyers with the hope of postponing the hearing of the appeal and so the court had the right to refuse the adjournment sought.

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There was no breach of natural justice with this refusal, Sithambaram said, as it was "self-inflicted".

The prosecutor, who was submitting in the review application by Najib in the SRC International case here on Wednesday (Feb 22), said it was obvious the new lawyer's appointment was only for an adjournment and that the new solicitors and counsel deliberately accepted the brief with the sole view of postponing a case that was set months earlier.

"This conduct of the solicitors and counsel in accepting the brief with the sole intention to postpone the substantive appeals is contemptuous and an interference with the course of justice," he said.

Sithambaram also said Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, a partner at the law firm Messrs Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners (ZIST) which acted as the new solicitors, had gone on record in a TV interview with the plan to seek an adjournment.

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"However, ZIST was overly confident that the application for additional evidence would succeed and an adjournment would be allowed thereafter.

"There was no Plan B in the event the court did not allow the adjournment," he said.

The hearing is before a five-judge panel chaired by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Abdul Rahman Sebli.

Other judges were Federal Court judges Justices Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Rhodzariah Bujang, Nordin Hassan and Court of Appeal judge Justice Abu Bakar Jais.

Najib is seeking to review the Federal Court's decision of Aug 23 which upheld the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision to convict and sentence him to 12 years in jail and a RM210mil fine in the RM42mil SRC International case.

On Sept 6, he applied for a review of the Federal Court’s decision, claiming a “miscarriage of justice” in his case.

The hearing continues in the afternoon.

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