Judge Nazlan’s former bank job irrelevant in Najib’s SRC case, says DPP

The prosecution in Najib Razak’s SRC International Sdn Bhd case said the involvement of judge Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who previously held a position in Maybank Investment Bank Bhd, was irrelevant to the former prime minister’s trial in the High Court.

(FMT) – In an affidavit-in-reply filed at the Federal Court to object to Najib’s application to adduce fresh evidence, deputy public prosecutor Ashrof Adrin Kamarul said the alleged evidence had more to do with Najib’s ongoing trial over RM2.28 billion in 1MDB funds.

“The applicant’s (Najib’s) allegations are nothing but a red herring to declare the SRC trial a nullity. I state that the issue of 1MDB’s acquisition of Tanjong Energy Holdings, the involvement of Maybank and Justice Mohd Nazlan in this 1MDB matter are not relevant to the facts in relation to the SRC charges faced by the applicant in the appeals.

“These issues are not relevant to the SRC appeals but related to the 1MDB case, which is not presided over by Justice Mohd Nazlan. There was no proof of any conflict of interest by the judge which translates to a real danger of bias at the SRC trial,” said the prosecutor.

It was confirmed that Nazlan, who is now a Court of Appeal judge, had in 2006 held the position of general counsel and company secretary of Maybank Investment Bank Bhd.

Ashrof further said that Nazlan’s role in the bank was public knowledge and known to the applicant at all material times, including during the commencement and continuance of the trial, as shown by public documents and documents in the possession of the applicant.

However, he said Najib did not object to him presiding over the trial at the material time.

The prosecutor added that there was no evidence that the judge was involved in the setting up or incorporation of SRC as 1MDB was the one that had set up SRC at the time.

Ashrof said Najib’s allegation of Nazlan’s purported knowledge of Maybank loans to 1MDB did not bar the judge from hearing the SRC case.

The prosecutor contended that the former prime minister failed to show any connection between his allegations and the SRC charges presided over by the judge.

He said 1MDB and SRC were distinct legal entities, with the latter operating separately and independently from 1MDB at all material times.

“All relevant and material evidence was presented at the trial. There was no suppression of evidence as alleged, and the applicant was not denied a fair trial. This application is filed to prolong the SRC proceedings for collateral purpose.

“The cumulative evidence now sought to be adduced by the applicant was available to the applicant and in any event, it is not relevant to the appeals before the Federal Court,” he said, adding that the matter was fixed for case management before the apex court tomorrow.

On June 7, Najib filed an application to adduce further evidence related to Nazlan to nullify the entire trial on the misappropriation of SRC funds totalling RM42 million.

The Federal Court has fixed 10 days in August to hear Najib’s final bid against his conviction and jail sentence for the misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC funds.

On Dec 8 last year, the Court of Appeal upheld Najib’s conviction, the 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine for misappropriating the funds.

Judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, who presided with Has Zanah Mehat and Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, unanimously dismissed Najib’s appeal against Nazlan’s decision on July 28, 2020.