Najib’s lawyer, family celebrate decision

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court’s decision to acquit Datuk Seri Najib Razak of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) audit report tampering charge will raise his spirits and reignite his desire to fight on, says his lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

He described yesterday’s decision “as beyond just acquittal and discharge”.

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

“In the case of Najib, there was no element of corruption or gratification (found),” he told reporters outside the High Court here.

Smiles all around: Rosmah celebrating after the verdict, while Nooryana (below) looked optimistic as she arrived earlier in the day.Smiles all around: Rosmah celebrating after the verdict, while Nooryana (below) looked optimistic as she arrived earlier in the day.

“It really uplifts his spirits and desire to fight (other graft charges against him),” he added.

Muhammad Shafee reiterated his belief that the case was clearly politically-driven against his client.

“You cannot dilute the fact that this was a politically-charged case. And when it’s a politically charged case there are other dimensions that come into play, which lawyers in those cases cannot predict because of the political dynamic.

“This was the first politically-charged case that we got a positive result,” he added.

Also acquitted of the charge was former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, now a Court of Appeal judge, ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against both the accused.

Arul Kanda told reporters that he was relieved to have been acquitted of the charges.

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

Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who was present in court with her daughter Nooryana Najwa Razak, said the decision was a victory for the entire family.

She said the court’s decision would further boost her husband’s spirits in facing more challenges.

“This decision will revive our spirits as a family. Najib also said he was grateful for his acquittal ... we hope for better things to come,” she said when approached by reporters.

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