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Najib Razak

By Kasthuri Jeevendran

PUTRAJAYA – The verdict on the appeal of Datuk Seri Najib Razak to strike off his conviction and sentence for the misappropriation of RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd (SRC)’s funds will be delivered by the Court of Appeal at 9.00 am this morning.

The decision will be delivered after the defence spent almost seven months attempting to strike off Najib’s conviction and sentence, by presenting 307 reasons on why the former Prime Minister is innocent in the case.

SRC is the subsidiary of the national strategic investment company, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Najib is appealing to strike off the conviction and sentence of 12 years in prison and RM210 million in fine for abusing the RM42 million belonging to SRC.

His appeal took place for 15 days, beginning 5 until 8 April, 12 until 15 April and 19 until 22 April and at the request of the defence, the panel decided to extend the proceeding from 27 until 28 April and 18 May.

Najib was represented by lead counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, meanwhile, Deputy Public Prosecutor, Datuk V Sithambaram led the prosecution.

The three-judge bench led by Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil is expected to deliver the verdict via the Zoom application at 9.00 am this morning, along with Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.

Najib, at the final moments, tried to submit fresh evidence to the case, alleging the involvement of the family members of former Bank Negara’s Governor, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz with fugitive businessman, Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

Najib filed the notice of the motion through Tetuan Shafee & Co, however, it was rejected unanimously during the proceeding yesterday by the judges.

On 28 July 2020, High Court Judge, Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali found Najib guilty on all seven counts of money-laundering, power abuse and criminal breach of trust charges related to the case.

According to Najib, Mohd Nazlan has failed to consider how Jho Low cheated and manipulated his bank accounts and the judge had erred in facts and law.

He also alleged that Mohd Nazlan erred in his findings on the donation from the late Saudi Arabian King, Almarhum Raja Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, through three letters were merely fabricated.

If the Court of Appeal rejected Najib’s claims today and maintained the verdict and sentence of the High Court against Najib, he has his final shot of appealing at the Federal Court.

Najib was released on RM2 million bail with two sureties while waiting for the verdict on his appeal.

Despite the defence’s attempts to delay the proceeding today for a period of 10 days after one of the defence lawyer was tested positive for Covid-19, the judges insisted to deliver the verdict today, via the Zoom application.

Najib is among the casual contact of the case, that needs to undergo self-quarantine, along with almost the whole defence team, including Muhammad Shafee. -MalaysiaGazette

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