Federal Court allows Najib’s bid for new evidence in SRC International case
The defence argued that Nazlan’s role in Maybank was closely related to the matters of SRC, pointing out that Maybank was instrumental in the formation of the former 1MDB subsidiary company.
(Focus Malaysia) – THE Federal Court today allowed former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s bid to include fresh evidence in his RM42 mil SRC International case, local media and journalists on the ground reported.
They said the five-member Federal Court bench – led by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat – proceeded to hear substantive issues on the case, including that of then Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali’s “undisclosed role”.
Najib’s lead counsel, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, earlier argued on Nazlan’s previous role as Maybank’s company secretary and group general counsel when 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) had asked for an RM6.17 bil loan from the bank, The Vibes reported.
Najib contends that the now appellate court judge had failed to disclose his role when 1MDB had asked Maybank for the loan to help finance 1MDB’s acquisition of Tanjong Energy.
“Maybank has crucial role in SRC’s formation”
According to journalist Hadi Azmi, the defence argued that Nazlan’s role in Maybank was closely related to the matters of SRC, pointing out that Maybank was instrumental in the formation of the former 1MDB subsidiary company.
The defence also claimed that nowhere in Nazlan’s ruling did he mention Maybank’s role in SRC’s set-up, which goes against his finding that Najib set it up solely out of self-interest (i.e. to misappropriate the funds).
SRC is now fully owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated, which, in turn, fully owns 1MDB.
Najib used to be SRC’s adviser emeritus and chairperson of 1MDB’s board of advisers.
Appeal to overturn guilty ruling dismissed
Last December, the Court of Appeal dismissed the former finance minister’s appeal to overturn the SRC International case guilty ruling in July 2020 by Nazlan.
The appellate court also ruled that Najib’s conviction, alongside the 12-year jail sentence and RM210 mil fine over the seven charges, should be upheld. Najib is out on bail pending the Federal Court hearing.
As part of his fresh evidence bid, Najib also wants to nullify the seven charges of power abuse, criminal breach of trust and money laundering, as well as the RM210 mil fine.
Today marks the beginning of the hearing for Najib’s main SRC appeal, slated for Aug 15 to 19, followed by Aug 23 to 26, 2022.
It was said to be the Pekan MP’s final appeal in the SRC International case, as he has already exhausted the appeals processes in the lower courts. However, whether this is still the case is not immediately clear after today’s green light of the new evidence bid.
Apart from Tengku Maimun, the other members on the bench today are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and Federal Court judges Datuk P. Nallini, Datuk Mary Lim and Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah.
Hisyam, Najib’s lead counsel, is being assisted by several other lawyers, while deputy public prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram is acting for the prosecution.