Najib’s Defence Team Barred From Discharging Self By Federal Court

Chief justice says broad grounds on the issue already given

PUTRAJAYA – The Federal Court has disallowed Former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, from discharging himself in the SRC International Sdn Bhd final appeal which is scheduled to proceed today.

Hisyam told the Federal Court that he has no choice unless he was granted an adjournment or to leave his client unrepresented.

Hisyam said he could not prepare the case in time and apologised to the court.

The prosecution team led by V Sithambaram, assisted by Donald Joseph Franklin, Sulaiman Kho Kheng Fuei and Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamil did not object to this and left it to the court to decide.

Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat however refused his request, saying that the bench had already given its grounds on the issue last Tuesday (16 Aug) and Hisyam should proceed with the final appeal.

“We have already given our broad judgments to this matter.

“We have full confidence in your ability and you should proceed,” she said

The court has stood the matter down to consider whether to allow the discharge.

Tengku Maimun heads a five-member Federal Court bench which also comprises Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and judges Nallini Pathmanathan, Mary Lim and Mohamad Zabidin Diah.

Najib’s current solicitors, Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners, took over conduct of the appeal on 25 July from senior lawyer Shafee Abdullah.

Faced with seven charges of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust over SRC funds amounting to RM42 million, Najib’s trial saw 86 witnesses testify over 76 hearing days.

On 28 July 2020, Najib was convicted on all charges and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and a fine of RM210 million, the grounds for which were set out by trial judge Nazlan Ghazali in a massive 500plus-page written judgment.

Najib’s conviction and sentence were upheld by the Court of Appeal on Dec 8 last year.

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