SRC In’t final appeal: Shafee returns, CJ rejects bid to postpone

DATUK Seri Najib Razak’s former lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, has returned to assist the former prime minister’s legal team in his final appeal in the SRC International RM42 mil corruption case.  

(Focus Malaysia) – Earlier today, Najib’s lead counsel, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, said Shafee, who was discharged from acting for Najib in the case barely a month ago, was on the way to the Federal Court to help him with the defence’s recusal application against the chief justice.

According to media reports and journalists on the ground, Hisyam asked the five-member bench for a short adjournment so that Shafee could make it on time, but Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat rejected this. 

“I thought he has been discharged,” the chief justice noted, according to a Twitter thread by journalist Hadi Azmi with live updates on the hearing. 

She then ordered Hisyam to begin oral submissions on his recusal application against her, saying that Shafee could join in when he arrives. 

When Shafee eventually turned up in court, he applied to adjourn the hearing to tomorrow morning, saying he needs time to mount proper oral submissions on Najib’s recusal bid against Tengku Maimun. 

He said he came from another event and did not have any court documents with him, and that he has to be in Parliament in the afternoon to attend a symposium. 

“Even my suit is not the right suit,” he said, according to Hadi.

Shafee added that he removed himself from representing Najib because he was unhappy with Datuk Zaid Ibrahim’s legal team, who took over from Shafee’s firm as Najib’s lawyers in the SRC International case.

However, deputy public prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram objected to the postponement application, saying the defence was acting in “bad faith” and intended to delay the case. 

To this, Shafee reiterated Hisyam’s earlier position that the defence is not attempting to delay the apex court’s proceedings. 

Tengku Maimun then ruled that there would no adjournment and that the hearing would proceed today as scheduled.  

Shafee said he heard her “loud and clear” but if the case continues tomorrow, he will be in court first thing in the morning – to which Tengku Maimun simply remarked, “That’s entirely up to you.” 

She added that if the court concludes its business today, there is no reason for Shafee to come tomorrow.

Shafee left soon after, leaving Hisyam to argue the recusal bid on his own as before.