SRC trial: was Najib illegally convicted after all?

If using illegal means to gain a conviction is okay so long as you can convict criminals, then torture and threats of killing the criminals’ family if they do not confess would also be allowed.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

“I believe that was really my voice. And I have done nothing wrong. What is the offence here? The only offence was the person who taped my conversation with someone. That is wrong. What I did was not wrong,” said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (READ MORE HERE).

Now read the news report regarding Najib Tun Razak’s SRC trial BELOW.

Najib was found guilty on seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power over illegal obtainment of RM42 million from a former 1MDB unit, SRC International.

“After considering all evidence in this trial, I find that the prosecution has successfully proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohamad Ghazali.

Najib was then sentenced to 12 years’ jail and a RM210 million fine, which he is currently appealing.

Now, it appears that an unknown and unidentified person sent illegal recordings of Najib’s conversation to the MACC, and this was used as evidence against Najib. The MACC then used what they considered as authentic and genuine recordings of Najib’s conversation to build up their case against him.

In fact, they even held a press conference where MACC Commissioner Latheefa Beebi Koya played the recording (with a smirk on her face) for the entire world to hear.

They say in the legal world that the fruit from a poisonous tree is poisonous. In other words, if certain illegal methods were used to procure evidence against Najib so that a conviction can be won, then the entire exercise becomes illegal. In short, Najib’s conviction is illegal.

I am not a lawyer (even though I know that many lawyers are poor excuses for lawyers and even I can argue the law better than them) but can you use the principle of “the end justifies the means” to gain a conviction?

If the MACC conducted illegal means to nail Najib, then the entire case against Najib needs to be thrown out the window. Whether Najib is guilty or not does not matter. It is how they went about to prove that Najib is guilty is the crux of the matter.

If using illegal means to gain a conviction is okay so long as you can convict criminals, then torture and threats of killing the criminals’ family if they do not confess would also be allowed.


The press conference to reveal the illegal recording of Najib’s conversation

(5 March 2020) – Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Latheefa Koya told the High Court today a special officer to her deputy was the first person who obtained the nine audio tapes which showed an alleged cover-up surrounding the 1MDB investigation back in 2016.

Testifying as the 12th defence witness in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption trial today, Latheefa was earlier asked to outline the chronology of events leading up to the January 8 press conference which subsequently resulted in the bombshell revelation of recordings that she claimed shows a conspiracy at the highest level of the then Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

She was subpoenaed by Najib’s defence team as they wanted to admit the audio recordings in court to support their case.

Under examination-in-chief by Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Latheefa testified that she discovered the existence of the tape recordings the week before her scheduled press conference after being approached by MACC deputy commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki.

Muhammad Shafee: When did you discover the existence of the tape recordings?

Latheefa: On Friday, January 3, a week before I had a press conference on January 8, I was approached by Azam in MACC Putrajaya who informed me he had received a package which contained a couple of thumb drives, nine of them.

Latheefa: He said he received it from his special officer who got it from his house. Immediately, I directed Azam to organise for a team to look into the documents in there.

Muhammad Shafee: When he came to see you, did he bring the package?

Latheefa: No.

When asked for her reaction, Latheefa said she asked Azam what he knew as she did not know whether it was an audio or video recording at the time.

She then told the court Azam’s special officer had received the nine thumb drives along with a piece of paper detailing the recordings’ narrative placed inside an envelope on the morning of January 3.

Following that, Latheefa said the MACC’s technical team worked through the weekend of January 4 and 5 to preserve the contents of the recordings by making copies, before deciding to make them public on January 8.

“The main basis is the shocking revelation of covering up and fabricating evidence and involvement of individuals who were not supposed to be,” she said.

Muhammad Shafee then asked her what the MACC did next to determine the authenticity of the recordings.

Latheefa: On Monday (January 6) I met up with the team in the morning to discuss and look at documents. I was told this is an audio recording and it has got various dates and involved certain personalities.

We started playing the recordings and we found out the content of those recordings is discussing about certain files involving certain personalities. When it was being played, my deputy, the head of MACC’s Anti-Money Laundering Division, and few others were able to recognise the identities of the people speaking.

It was a very clear recording. We were able to identify who and recognise what they were talking about. Based on the contents, we were able to confirm this was authentic.

Muhammad Shafee: By the 8th, had you made a clinical determination that these tape recordings have not been tampered?

Latheefa: The nature of conversation doesn’t look like it was cut, so we don’t see any possibility of it being a fake. The other reason, we were listening to the conversation and we double checked the events that happened before and after, and these dates commensurate the dates of the recording.