Sunday, June 20, 2021

Najib’s SRC appeal hearing extended after lawyers rapped for repeating themselves

Judge adds a day to the hearing and tells the defence team to focus on the main issue instead of repeating the same points over and over again.

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The Court of Appeal has extended the hearing of Najib Razak’s SRC International appeal by one day to May 6.

The appeal was supposed to end today, but Najib’s defence team could not wrap up their reply to the prosecution’s case.

Judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil had rapped the former prime minister’s defence team for repeating themselves.

“We are hearing the same points again and again and again. You are repeating yourselves. Most of the issues have been touched. Try to focus on something really substantive.

“We don’t know whether this point is about the Anti-Money Laundering Act or criminal breach of trust charges. Go to the main one. The most important thing is to make it clear so we can see more clearly, or else it will confuse us all,” he said.

When the judge asked whether the lawyer could finish his submissions by today, Harvinderjit Singh said he would need half a day to submit his part, following which Muhammad Shafee Abdullah would speak on the Arab donation.

Here, ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram quipped that if the judge were not firm, “we will be here until Hari Raya Haji”.

Abdul, who presided over the appeal with Has Zanah Mehat and Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, then fixed May 6 for additional hearing of Najib’s appeal.

Najib’s appeal was originally set for 12 days from April 5 until 22. Later, on the application of his defence team, the bench set additional hearing days on April 27 and 28.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court on July 28 last year sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and fined him RM210 million after finding him guilty on seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of position involving RM42 million in SRC International funds.

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