Last resort? Najib turns to UN council for retrial of SRC case

Najib Razak appearing at Federal Court today (Aug 23, 2022). Photo: Coconuts KL
Najib Razak appearing at Federal Court today (Aug 23, 2022). Photo: Coconuts KL

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is currently incarcerated, has petitioned  United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) for his release or a retrial of his SRC International case.

Najib’s attorney, Shafee Abdullah, insisted during a press conference that the former Pekan MP’s Federal Court appeal had “severe faults” and violated the “rules of international justice.”

The former premier started serving his 12-year prison sentence in August after the Supreme Court upheld his guilty verdict and sentence in the RM42 million (USD 9.5 million) SRC International corruption case.

Najib is currently serving his jail term at Kajang Prison.

Shafee said UNWGAD is expected to have its first 2023 seating soon.

“The UNWGAD, which will hear the appeal, comprises five distinguished human rights judges. They will not be called upon to decide whether Najib is guilty but to determine whether his trial was fair and if not, may call upon the (Malaysian) government to release him or provide him with a retrial. 

“Although this decision is not directly binding, it is very influential especially as Malaysia has a distinguished jurist who is currently a member of the working group,” Shafee said.

“How fast they will decide (on the petition), I can’t be certain,” he added.

Shafee stated that since Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is a staunch supporter of the UNWGAD, the defence team can send him a copy of the appeal. 

“A copy (has been sent) to the Attorney-General Chambers’ International Affairs Division as a courtesy,” said Shafee.

He told reporters that despite the UNWGAD filing, the defence team intends to proceed with the SRC International review application scheduled to be heard in the Federal Court between Jan 19 and 26.


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