The Federal Court has set March 31 for its verdict on former prime minister Najib Razak’s bid for a review of his conviction and sentence in his RM42 million SRC International case.
The date was confirmed by Najib's lawyers Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee, as well as deputy public prosecutor Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul when contacted by Bernama.
The five-man Federal Court bench led by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abdul Rahman Sebli had reserved its decision on Feb 28 after hearing submissions for six days from Najib's lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and ad hoc deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram.
The other four judges on the bench were Federal Court judges Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Rhodzariah Bujang and Nordin Hassan, and Court of Appeal judge Abu Bakar Jais.
On Aug 23, 2022, Najib was sent to Kajang Prison to begin serving his jail sentence after losing his appeal to set aside his conviction, 12-year jail term and RM210 million fine for the misappropriation of SRC International funds.
The former Pekan MP filed a review application under Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995, in a bid to overturn the decision by a five-member bench led by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat upholding his conviction, jail sentence and fine.
Najib was convicted of seven charges on July 28, 2020 by then High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Ghazali.
Nazlan, who is now a Court of Appeal judge, sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and fined him RM210 million in default of five years imprisonment. His decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Dec 8, 2021.
Throughout the six-day proceedings, Shafee argued that the previous Federal Court bench hearing Najib’s appeal had made a fundamental error in law by not allowing the adjournment of the trial and not allowing Najib’s former counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik to discharge himself.
Sithambaram however submitted that there was no breach of natural justice or miscarriage of justice or abuse of the court process in the case as the defence was given all opportunity to submit its final appeal but Hisyam chose not to take the opportunities given on the pretext that he was not prepared.