Najib's SRC review, proceedings adjourned to Feb 20

NOOR AZLIDA ALIMIN
NOOR AZLIDA ALIMIN
19 Jan 2023 07:02pm
 Shafee (middle) at Najib's court proceedings - Bernama Photo
Shafee (middle) at Najib's court proceedings - Bernama Photo
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PUTRAJAYA - The Federal Court has set the hearing proceedings to review former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's SRC International Sdn Bhd conviction and sentence for Feb 20.

A panel of five judges led by the Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak, Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli delivered the decision after Najib's lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, said that there were still arguments to be submitted and the time available was relatively short.

Other judges on the bench were Federal Court judges Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Rhodzariah Bujang, and Nordin Hassan, as well as Court of Appeal judge Abu Bakar Jais.

"We will resume next February 20 to 22," Abdul Rahman said.

Meanwhile, during the argument, Muhammad Shafee said that the request for postponement made by lawyer Datuk Hisyam Teh when appealing on behalf of Najib was reasonable.

In practice, it is not unusual for the court to grant an adjournment on the basis that the lawyer is newly appointed, he added.

"In fact, the prosecution itself did not object to the postponement request.

"Perhaps it is because the prosecution itself realises the propriety of the request for adjournment by the new team of lawyers and solicitors based on their own experience in various cases in court, including the Federal Court.

"Therefore, it is quite strange when the Federal Court does not grant a delay of three to four months to allow new solicitors and advocates to prepare well," he added.
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He said there is no allegation or proof that the postponement application is a ploy to delay the proceedings.

Suspicions arose when the Federal Court rushed to complete the appeal proceedings before deciding the decision, Shafie added.

Last Aug, Najib's lead counsel, Hisyam, informed a five-member bench of the Federal Court, led by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, that he would not present oral submissions for his client.

However, the Federal Court has disallowed Hisyam from discharging himself as Najib’s counsel in the SRC International appeal.

Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, heading a five-member panel, said the court was of the unanimous view that Hisyam "failed to disclose adequate reasons" to justify his recusal bid.