Thursday, June 17, 2021

Court reserves judgment as Najib’s SRC appeal hearing ends

Judge says the panel needs time to deliberate as many important issues were raised.

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Najib Razak’s appeal hearing against his conviction and jail sentence for the misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds at the Court of Appeal ended today after 15 days of arguments from both sides.

A three-member bench led by justice Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, however, reserved its decision for a date yet to be fixed.

The other two judges on the bench were Has Zanah Mehat and Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.

‘We thank all the parties involved… this hearing was exceptionally long compared to other appeal hearings.

“Since there were many important issues raised by both parties, we need some time to deliberate and to deliver our decision on the appeal,” he said.

Counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, representing Najib, and ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram had concluded their submissions.

The former prime minister’s appeal was originally set for 12 days from April 5 to 8, April 12 to 15 and April 19 to 22, but on the application of the defence team, the bench set additional hearing days on April 27 and 28 and May 6.

The hearing on May 6 was postponed to today as one of the defence team members was under quarantine after coming into close contact with a number of Covid-19 positive patients.

Najib is appealing against the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision on July 28 last year which sentenced him to 12 years’ jail and a RM210 million fine after finding him guilty on seven charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), money laundering and abuse of position, involving RM42 million in SRC International funds.

High Court judge Mohd Nazlan sentenced Najib to 10 years’ jail on each of the three counts of CBT and each of the three counts of money laundering and 12 years’ jail and a RM210 million fine, in default of five years’ jail, in the case of abuse of position.

However, Najib will only serve 12 years in jail as the judge ordered all the jail sentences to run concurrently.

The Pekan MP is currently out on bail of RM2 million with two sureties pending his appeal.

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