Najib Razak's new legal team for his final appeal in the SRC International case told the Federal Court today that it would discharge itself if the court insisted that the appeal proceed next week.
It was learnt by the media that counsel from Messrs Zaid Ibrahim Suffian TH Liew & Partners and another law firm, Messrs Hisyam Teh, said they were not ready to proceed with the appeal as it involved major issues and needed time for preparation as it was not an ordinary appeal.
If the court insisted on the main appeal proceeding on Aug 15, they said they would have no choice but to discharge themselves from representing the former prime minister.
It is understood that the matter was conveyed before Federal Court deputy registrars Wan Fatimah Zahara Wan Yusoff and Siti Hajar Mustaffa during online case management today.
Ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram and deputy public prosecutor Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul acted for the respondent (public prosecutor) while counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Liew Teck Huat and M Rueben appeared for Najib (the appellant).
On July 26, Najib discharged with immediate effect Messrs Shafee & Co from representing him in his SRC International appeal. However, Najib said his former counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah would continue as his solicitor and counsel in all other cases involving him that are currently before the Malaysian courts.
Najib then appointed Hisyam from Messrs Hisyam Teh as his lead counsel and ZIST partners, Liew and Rueben as his new solicitors.
The Federal Court has set 10 days from Aug 15 to hear the Pekan MP’s final appeal to set aside his conviction and jail sentence for the misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC International funds.
Today, the media was informed that the hearing of the motion to adduce new evidence would be heard first on Aug 15. If the motion is dismissed, then the court will proceed with the main appeal.
Reporters were also told that Najib’s counsel would make an oral application again before the court to adjourn the main appeal after the conclusion of arguments for a motion for fresh evidence, and would leave it to court to decide.
In July 2020, High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Ghazali, who is now a Court of Appeal judge, sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and fined him RM210 million after finding him guilty of misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International funds.
The case is at the final appeal stage in the apex court after the Court of Appeal last year upheld the verdict of the High Court and rejected the appeal of the former prime minister.