Shafee says Najib seeking pardon as defence team not given chance to prepare

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak is seeking a royal pardon as he claimed he was not given a proper trial in the appeal for the SRC International Sdn Bhd case, says his lawyer.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said in the pardon application submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on behalf of Najib, one of the reasons given was that the then newly appointed legal team led by Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik was not given the chance to prepare for the appeal case in the Federal Court on Aug 23.

ALSO READ: Najib allowed to attend appeal hearing in suit against ex-AG

“This case is unique because Najib was not given this chance," he said during the Townhall for Justice - Keadilan Sebenarnya untuk Siapa programme held here on Saturday (Sept 30).

Muhammad Shafee added that Hisyam, who replaced him in representing Najib in the SRC International corruption case, did not have the opportunity to prepare.

“This must be considered seriously because if it can happen to the former prime minister, it can happen to us,” he said.

Najib is currently serving his 12-year sentence after the Federal Court affirmed his conviction and sentence in the SRC case.

ALSO READ: No UK lawyer for Najib as court strikes out bid to appeal ruling

The former Pekan MP had also applied for a royal pardon on Sept 2 last year.

Before the legal team change, the former prime minister had applied to appoint leading UK barrister Jonathan Laidlaw to work with Shafee, and the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed the request.

Najib then changed his entire legal team, with senior criminal lawyer Hisyam agreeing to act as lead counsel in replacing Shafee.

ALSO READ: Najib, Arul’s acquittals stand after prosecution delay

Najib was initially convicted in the High Court by Justice Nazlan Ghazali on seven counts of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving RM42mil in funds belonging to SRC.

That conviction and sentence was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Dec 8, 2021, and then by a five-member apex court panel chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat on Aug 23, last year.

ALSO READ: Umno working to seek justice for Najib, says Zahid

Muhammad Shafee said Najib is also seeking help from the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) to rule that the dismissal of his appeal by the Federal Court was unjust, flawed and had violated his basic human rights and the Federal Constitution.

He said there were major breaches of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Malaysia is a party to.

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