Najib Razak’s application to adduce new evidence in his SRC International trial is intended to delay the progress and conclusion of the case, the Federal Court heard today.
Ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram submitted that the application was filed to prolong the SRC International proceedings for collateral purposes as the cumulative evidence the former prime minister sought to adduce had been available to him at the trial and, in any event, was not relevant to the appeals before the Federal Court.
"My Lady, before the commencement of the trial in April 2019, everybody knew that the trial judge (Mohd Nazlan Ghazali) was from Maybank. During the defence case, this was a burden issue. They could have brought it. But none was done at that point of time.
"Moreover, there has been no evidence of conflict of interest on the part of justice Nazlan at the SRC International trial as alleged by the applicant (Najib). The applicant has made malicious and frivolous allegations against the judge, who is unable to personally defend himself from these spurious allegations," he said.
He said this in the prosecution’s submission for the former prime minister’s motion to adduce new evidence in the SRC International case in his bid to ultimately seek a retrial before a five-member panel chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat.
The other judges on the bench are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and Federal Court judges Nallini Pathmanathan, Mary Lim Thiam Suan and Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah.
Sithambaram also said that Najib’s bid was based on what certain individuals allegedly told the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), and that the apex court should reject the request as the Pekan MP’s supporting affidavits were all based on hearsay evidence.
Najib's bid to adduce additional evidence was supported by his affidavits concerning what three MACC officers and two bankers purportedly told MACC during the SRC International investigation.
"Najib's affidavits showed that these alleged witnesses did not personally tell the appellant what they supposedly told MACC. Those witnesses' statements are hearsay upon hearsay. They did not tell the appellant. The application is not a fresh evidence bid but camouflaged (as a fishing expedition into) the alleged conflict of interest on the part of judge Nazlan," Sithambaram said.
The additional evidence Najib is seeking to adduce relates to the recent discovery that Nazlan was in 2006 the general counsel and company secretary for Maybank Group, and had the ultimate overall responsibility for the management and administration of all legal departments within the entire group.
On July 28, 2020, Nazlan, who is now a Court of Appeal judge, sentenced Najib to 10 years' jail for each of the three counts of criminal breach of trust 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 would have to serve only 12 years in jail as the judge ordered for all of the jail sentences to run concurrently.
The hearing continues tomorrow.