Najib’s Defence Team Confident With Case

(Malaysian Digest) – Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s defence team strongly believes that they have a good case.

The lawyer leading the team, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said the defence team was “very satisfied” with the case that they will put forth.

He, however stopped short of going into detail due to an interim media gag order imposed on the four court charges slapped on Najib yesterday.

“We are happy with the defence case. We are very happy. In short, I am saying that we are confident that we got a good defence.

“I can’t go beyond that but you will see the unfolding of the defence when the trial starts.

“Without going into the merits because the gag order is my application, I can tell you in a general way what we, as a team, have examined (their case),” Shafee told reporters after proceedings wrapped up at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions and High Courts.

Najib claimed trial to three charges of criminal breach of trust and a fourth charge of abuse of power.

Shafee led a seven member defence team which also comprised Harvinderjit Singh, Datuk Raj Krishnan, Farhan Read, Rahmat Hazlan, Muhamad Farhan Muhamad Shafee and Syahirah Hanapiah.

He said that he hoped Najib would be given a fair trial, and expressed confidence that it was a possibility based on the start of court proceedings yesterday.

“My client is not worried about the trial, provided we are given a fair shot at the trial, which we are sure of. Looking at the judge today (yesterday), we are quite sure it’s going to be a fair trial,” said Shafee.

However, he questioned the readiness of the prosecution team in yesterday’s court proceeding as he claimed the team failed to provide documents yesterday for the defence team to refer to in preparation for trial.

“When they charged my client today, you would have thought they must be ready. After all, (then Attorney-General) Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and his gang said they were ready to charge my client in July 2015.

“If they were ready in July 2015, how come they were not ready today and why did it take you so long to charge?”

“So it tells you something else, and that the attempt to charge him in 2015 was a little suspicious, if it’s true there was an attempt to charge him,” he said.

Shafee made a comparison by citing his previous defence of former Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, when the latter was charged for currency irregularities in Brisbane, Australia in 1997.

“On the day Muhammad was charged, the deputy public prosecutor came with the investigating officer with a stack of documents on the day itself and said, ‘this is the paper we have brought and we will prove the case through this’,” he said.

Meanwhile, Shafee said his application of gag order was aimed to stop anyone from making prejudicial statements which can impact the trial.

“The gag order is to stop anyone from making prejudicial comments pertaining to the merits of the four charges and getting it published in any media,” he said.

The gag order, was requested by Shafee’s team at the High Court which in turn approved the gag order to run for an interim period until Aug 8.

“It is applicable to all types of media, no matter traditional, digital or social media. If anyone breaches the gag order, it will be a contempt of court,” he said.

“Doesn’t matter who spoke about it, it can be the chairman of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), it can be the commissioner of MACC, could be the minister of finance.

“It could be even Najib himself, if he keeps saying he is innocent because of this, because of that. He too is prohibited, so let the court decides,” he said.