Jonathan Laidlaw, a Queen’s Counsel (QC) from the UK, is seeking to represent Najib Razak in the former prime minister’s appeal in the RM42 million SRC International case.
The notice of originating motion involving the UK lawyer was filed by law firm Messrs Shafee & Co at the Kuala Lumpur High Court ahead of the deadline yesterday.
According to a copy of the application made available to the media, Laidlaw is seeking to be admitted and enrolled to practise in the High Court in Malaya or Peninsular Malaysia to appear as Najib’s lead counsel in the SRC appeals at the Federal Court and all other related causes or matters.
One of the reasons for Laidlaw’s application was stated as being that Najib’s SRC appeal at the Federal Court would involve serious, complex and/or novel issues related to several branches of criminal and civil laws, practice and evidence, the constitutional rights of the appellant, the conduct of proceedings by the prosecution, the adjudication of criminal cases by a trial court and the administration of a criminal justice system.
The application also stated that Najib wished to engage Laidlaw’s professional services to act as his lead counsel in the SRC appeal, and that the law firm and lawyer representing the accused Messrs Shafee & Co and Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had given these instructions to Laidlaw.
It also said that Laidlaw possessed special qualifications, experience and expertise not available among lawyers in Malaysia, for the purposes of Najib’s SRC appeal at the Federal Court.
On Jan 25, law firm Messrs Shafee & Co submitted a six-page letter to the secretariat of Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat on Najib’s intention to appoint a QC to assist him in complex issues and legal questions in his SRC appeal at the apex court.
On April 29, the Federal Court fixed 10 days in August to hear Najib’s final bid against his conviction and jail sentence for the misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC International funds.
On Dec 8, 2021, the Court of Appeal upheld Najib’s conviction and 12-year jail sentence as well as his RM210 million fine for misappropriating RM42 million belonging to SRC International.
Judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, who presided with Has Zanah Mehat and Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, unanimously dismissed Najib’s appeal against the High Court’s decision on July 28, 2020.
The Federal Court will be the final avenue for the Pekan MP to appeal against his sentence and conviction involving the SRC International case.