SRC International: Decision to call handwriting expert tomorrow

Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court for his SRC International Sdn Bhd trial. PIX: SYAFIQ AMBAK / MalaysiaGazette / 08 JANUARY 2020.
Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court for his SRC International Sdn Bhd trial.PIX: SYAFIQ AMBAK / MalaysiaGazette / 08 JANUARY 2020.

By Kasthuri Jeevendran

KUALA LUMPUR – The SRC International Sdn Bhd trial which entered its 71th day continued in heated arguments from both the prosecution and defence on Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s request to get a handwriting expert to confirm the authenticity of his signatures.

The former Prime Minister who is facing charges over SRC International wanted a handwriting expert from Australia to examine and testify on the signatures found on the documents of that company.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram repeatedly questioned the application by the defence when the case is at its end.

Sithambaram also said that Najib, the Member of Parliament of Pekan did not say much about the authenticity about his signature on the documents related to SRC International since the trial started last year.

According to him, the application should not be granted especially when the key witness to the high profile case, the former Chairman of SRC International Tan Sri Ismee Ismail had earlier alleged that the signature belonged to Najib.

“The defence counsel should have raised the questioned and call for the handwriting expert during the cross-examination. Why didn’t he do it then but now?

“Wasn’t that the right time? The defence team claimed that the documents could be forged but at the same time, agreed with the decision of the judge who called Najib to enter defence,” he said before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

35 document exhibits by the prosecution have been presented by the prosecution to establish prima facie against Najib, who faces seven counts of power abuse, criminal breach of trust and money laundering charges involving funds from SRC International.

From that amount, 13 documents have been flagged by the defence and Najib had repeatedly told the court that he was unsure if the signatures which looked like his belonged to him.

The documents were signed when Najib was the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and the Emirate Advisor to SRC International.

At the same time, defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh supported the application by Najib stating that the prosecution refused the application for fearing that the result would not favour them.

On the contrary, the prosecution depended on Section 71 of the

Sebaliknya kata Harvinderjit, pendakwaan sebenarnya lebih bergantung kepada Seksyen 71 of the Evidence Act to enable 13 documents in question to be accepted as evidence during the early stage of prosecution last year.

Lead defence counsel, Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah insisted on Najib’s request to inspect the authenticity of the signature in those documents during his closing argument.

According to him, the court should consider the request of the accused although it is small, even if the request is raised after a certain period of time.

Mohd Nazlan then adjourned the court and the decision on the application will be delivered tomorrow. -MalaysiaGazette

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