Najib fails to postpone SRC appeal hearing

Last July 28, former PM sentenced to 12 years jail and fined RM210m in the RM42m SRC corruption case.

Najib Abdul Razak applied to postpone today’s scheduled hearing of his appeal to quash his conviction and sentencing in the RM42 million SRC International corruption case.

However, the Court of Appeal dismissed the former premier’s postponement application and proceeded with the hearing this morning.

The three-person bench, presided by Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, made the ruling when lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah raised the application.

Najib’s lawyer sought a one-month postponement pending the former premier’s discovery application in the United States and Singapore courts.

Previously, it was reported that Najib has a pending application at a court in New York for material that is relevant to his defence in his 1MDB-linked criminal cases being heard in Malaysia.

“We decided to proceed (with today’s hearing). It is not sufficient for us to adjourn it,” said Abdul Karim in the unanimous ruling.

The other members of the bench were Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera and Has Zanah Mehat.

Today was set for the hearing of Najib’s appeal in the RM42 million SRC case, after the Kuala Lumpur High Court convicted Najib on July 28 last year for one count of abuse of power, three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT), and three counts of money laundering.

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali had sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and a RM210 million fine.

However, the lower court allowed Najib’s defence team application to stay the execution of the decision, pending disposal of his appeal.

At the beginning of proceedings before the Court of Appeal today, lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah made the application to postpone the appeal hearing for one month.

The lawyer contended that this would give enough time to the defence to secure evidence from the US and Singapore that is needed to bolster Najib’s case before the court in Malaysia.

Shafee said that their pending legal bid at the New York court is to secure testimony from Goldman Sachs and its former employee, Tim Leissner.

Former Goldman Sachs employee Tim Leissner

The lawyer contended that the evidence sought involved the allegation that bribes were paid to 1MDB officials, among other things.

Shafee said the evidence sought in Singapore is relevant to Najib’s case because it involves the 1MDB-linked allegation involving the family of former Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

Zeti was the Bank Negara governor during the alleged events linked to Najib’s RM42 million SRC case.

However, deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram raised the prosecution’s objection against the postponement bid.

The DPP pointed out that Najib’s legal team needed to file a proper written application at the Court of Appeal first because the evidence sought, as cited by Shafee, is in the US and Singapore.

After the Court of Appeal dismissed the postponement bid, the bench proceeded to hear submissions from Najib’s legal team over the appeal.

In February, Najib’s legal team raised the application in New York to try to postpone his separate criminal trial in the RM2.28 billion 1MDB corruption case.

However, the Kuala Lumpur High Court had dismissed the postponement bid.

By : HIDIR REDUAN ABDUL RASHID – MALAYSIAKINI

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