The Federal Court’s decision to deny former premier Najib Abdul Razak’s request to introduce new evidence related to the RM42 million (US$ 9.4 million) SRC International corruption case has left him “shocked and bitterly disappointed.”
“I believe the evidence would clearly indicate that judge Mohd Nazlan (Mohd Ghazali) was heavily conflicted,” the 69 year-old said at a press conference at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya yesterday.
The Pekan member of parliament asserted that Judge Nazlan, who found him guilty, knew about the 1MDB and SRC transactions and was therefore believed to have first-hand knowledge of these two organisations.
“I believe the MACC investigators were also aware of this fact, but we were unable to adduce (the evidence).
“I hoped that in the final appeal, we could show the truth of the matter,” he added.
Najib’s request to postpone the main SRC appeal hearing for several months was also unanimously denied by the five-person bench led by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat.
The chief justice ruled that the parties should have made every effort to be ready because they were aware that the hearing dates were scheduled from August 15 to August 26.
However, she agreed to move the hearing until Thursday.
Najib’s Lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik also expressed disappointment with the decisions.
“We had presented a strong case both in law and on the facts,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the court did not appreciate our arguments,” he added..
Najib’s request for new evidence was based on the claim that Nazlan had a conflict of interest because of his prior employment as general counsel at Maybank.
The commercial bank was accused of having a conflict of interest because of its alleged involvement in the creation of SRC and its loan to the sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
Initially a subsidiary of 1MDB, SRC was later fully acquired by the Minister of Finance Incorporated (MOF Inc). 1MDB is also fully owned by MOF Inc.
Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali of the High Court found Najib guilty of seven criminal offences in 2020 for stealing RM42 million from SRC International.
He received a 12-year jail term and a RM 210 million fine from the judge. The conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal on December 8, 2021, when the three-judge panel unanimously dismissed Najib’s appeal against the High Court’s decision.
Najib’s appeal at the Federal Court is his last chance to overturn the conviction.
Meanwhile, Najib is still embroiled In the 1MDB trial, in which he stands accused of corruption over the misappropriation of RM2.28 billion in 1MDB funds.
He faces 25 charges, four for abuse of power and 21 for money laundering, for offenses allegedly committed between 2011 and 2013.