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King's Counsel's appeal hearing to be admitted as Najib's lawyer postponed

The appeal by Jonathan Laidlaw has been postponed pending the Federal Court's decision on Najib Razak's SRC International review application.

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Former prime minister Najib Razak.
Former prime minister Najib Razak.

The hearing of the appeal by UK-based King's Counsel Jonathan Laidlaw to be admitted as an advocate and solicitor to represent Najib Razak in his SRC International criminal case, which was scheduled for March 15, has been postponed.

In a letter sighted by Bernama, Federal Court deputy registrar Mahyun Yusof informed the parties involved that the Federal Court had allowed the request by Laidlaw's lawyer to postpone the hearing.

She also told the parties that the case had been fixed for case management on March 22.

The Federal Court initially fixed this Wednesday to hear Laidlaw's appeal as well as the applications by the public prosecutor and three others to strike out the appeal.

The court also set the same day to hear the public prosecutor's application to intervene in Laidlaw's appeal.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Bar's lawyer Annemarie Pravina Vendargon, when contacted by Bernama, said the postponement was granted following a request by Laidlaw's counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah to await the Federal Court's decision on Najib's SRC International review application.

She said the Malaysian Bar had indicated to the court that they did not see the need for Laidlaw's appeal to be postponed and that they were prepared to proceed on Wednesday.

Laidlaw filed the appeal after the High Court rejected his application to be admitted as an advocate and solicitor on July 21 last year.

The public prosecutor, who was not named as a respondent in Laidlaw's appeal, subsequently filed an intervener application to be included as the fourth respondent in his appeal as it said it was a party in the proceedings at the High Court but was unilaterally dropped in the appeal.

In a notice of motion filed on Nov 18 last year, the public prosecutor also sought to strike out Laidlaw's appeal on the grounds that it was academic, an abuse of process and unsustainable.
The Attorney-General's Chambers, the Malaysian Bar and Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee, who were named as respondents in Laidlaw's appeal, had also filed their applications to strike out Laidlaw's appeal.

On Oct 12 last year, Shafee, representing Najib, said Laidlaw would represent the former prime minister in the rehearing of Najib's appeal if his review application was allowed by the Federal Court.

Najib began serving a 12-year jail sentence after the Federal Court upheld his conviction, jail sentence and RM210 million fine for the misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC International funds on Aug 23 last year.

The Federal Court has set March 31 for a decision on Najib's review application.