MACC found Nazlan conflicted, breached judges’ ethics, says Azalina

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s probe on Justice Nazlan Ghazali concluded he had violated the Judges’ Code of Ethics and had a conflict of interest when presiding over the SRC International case, says law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said.

(FMT) – In a letter dated March 20 to Najib Razak’s solicitors, Shafee & Co, Azalina confirmed that Nazlan, who presided over Najib’s SRC trial in the High Court, had breached the code and had a conflict of interest.

She said this was based on a report of MACC’s findings dated Feb 20, which the agency extended to her.

She was responding to a letter from Najib’s solicitors dated March 15 inquiring whether MACC had written to Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat to recommend that disciplinary proceedings be commenced against Nazlan in relation to his conduct of the SRC case.

In the letter, the law firm had asked whether MACC had concluded that Nazlan had breached the Judges’ Code of Ethics and had a conflict of interest.

In her letter replying to Shafee, Azalina said: “I can confirm that the answers to the questions (you have set out) are in the affirmative.”

Images of a purported letter from MACC chief Azam Baki to Tengku Maimun made the rounds on social media days after the Federal Court dismissed Najib’s bid to review his conviction and sentence.

The letter, dated Feb 20, stated that MACC’s investigations had found “issues of wrongdoing” by Nazlan that the chief justice “needed to consider”.

On Feb 24, a seven-member Federal Court panel led by Tengku Maimun accused MACC of not following protocol when conducting its investigation into Nazlan.

The investigation followed allegations that unexplained sums of money had been deposited into his bank account.

In her judgment, Tengku Maimun said investigative agencies like MACC must consult the chief justice before initiating a probe against a superior court judge.

Nazlan, now a judge on the Court of Appeal, had convicted Najib in July 2020 on charges of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust over RM42 million in funds belonging to SRC International.

He sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and fined him RM210 million. Najib’s appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed in December 2021. The Federal Court on Aug 23 last year upheld the conviction and sentence.

Najib began serving his 12-year prison term immediately following the Federal Court decision.

Last Friday, a separate Federal Court bench dismissed Najib’s application for a review of his conviction and sentence.

As a result, the former prime minister will be required to serve the remainder of his prison term, unless he secures a royal pardon.