Acquittal has rekindled Najib's fighting spirit, says Shafee


KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak's acquittal in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) audit tampering trial has lifted his spirits and reignited his desire to fight, says his lawyer.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said Najib was grateful to Allah for his acquittal.

“It really lifts his spirits and desire to fight (other graft charges against him),” he said here on Friday (March 3).

Muhammad Shafee said the decision was beyond a mere acquittal and discharge.

ALSO READ: 1MDB audit tampering trial: Najib, Arul Kanda freed from charges

“You must see beyond that. The judge could have just said there’s no prima facie case, but he made specific findings too.

“In the case of Najib, there was no element of corruption or gratification (found),” he added.

Muhammad Shafee also said the case was clearly a politically-driven charge against his client.

“You cannot dilute the fact that this was a politically-charged case.

"Other aspects come into play, (and) lawyers in such cases cannot predict (the outcome) because of the political dynamite.

“In this case, this was the first politically-charged matter where we obtained a positive result,” he said.

Also acquitted was former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, who is now a Court of Appeal judge, made the decision after finding that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against them.

Arul Kanda told the media outside the court that he was relieved by the acquittal.

“The facts speak for themselves ... throughout (the trial), I had been honest and straightforward,” he said.

Najib, 70, was accused of abusing his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report to avoid any action being taken against him while Arul Kanda, 46, was accused of abetting him in making the amendments to the report.

The offence was allegedly committed at the Prime Minister's Department Complex at the Federal Government Administrative Centre in Putrajaya between Feb 22 and 26, 2016.

Both men were charged under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, which provides a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

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