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Najib to remain in jail as apex court throws out bid for SRC review

A five-man bench dismisses his application in a 4-1 majority verdict.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Former prime minister Najib Razak.
Former prime minister Najib Razak.

The Federal Court today dismissed Najib Razak's application for a review of its decision upholding his conviction, 12-year jail sentence and fine for the misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC International funds, dashing the former prime minister's last hope of legal recourse in the case.

A five-man bench delivered its decision in a 4-1 majority verdict, read out by Federal Court judge Vernon Ong Lam Kiat.

Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abdul Rahman Sebli, who chaired the bench, dissented.

The others on the bench were Federal Court judges Rhodzariah Bujang and Nordin Hassan and Court of Appeal judge Abu Bakar Jais.

Najib, who is currently serving a 12-year jail term at Kajang Prison, had sought to overturn the decision by a five-member Federal Court bench led by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat on Aug 23 last year.

His lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah argued that the earlier bench had errer by not allowing an adjournment of the trial.

He also cited its decision not to allow Najib's ex-counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik to discharge himself, as well as a 2018 Facebook post on Najib made by Tengku Maimun's husband.

He said the top judge should have known about it and asked if she should recuse herself from the panel.

The prosecution meanwhile argued that there had been no breach of natural justice, miscarriage of justice or abuse of the court process.

Ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram said the defence was given every opportunity to submit during the final appeal, and that Najib had taken on new lawyers in the hope of postponing the hearing of the appeal.

Najib, the former prime minister, was convicted by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on July 28, 2020 of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power related to RM42 million in SRC International funds. 

He was sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million, a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal on Dec 8, 2021.