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Dec 8: D-day For Convicted ‘Bossku’

The Court of Appeal has dismissed Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s application to adduce fresh evidence before the court decides on the appeal against his conviction on the SRC International case.

As such, the court will proceed with announcing its decision on the former Prime Minister’s appeal at 9am tomorrow, via Zoom.

Najib, who earlier in the day was absent from court and risked being issued an arrest warrant, followed the hearing of the application from his home after the court refused a postponement.

Shafee and Najib

But Justice Abdul Karim who was chairing a three-member bench was unhappy.

“This is a court of law. We want proof. Even the bailors are not present!”

“If we’re not satisfied, we can drop the bail and issue a warrant of arrest against Najib.”

“Where’s Najib? Don’t play guessing game, this is a court not a coffee shop.”

Najib is appealing to quash his conviction on seven charges of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust (CBT) over SRC International funds.

The Court of Appeal heard the appeal proceeding for 15 days in April and May.

Last year, High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and fined him RM210 million after finding him guilty on all seven charges.

Najib was accused of abusing his power as Prime Minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP).

He was also slapped with three counts of CBT and three money laundering charges in relation to RM42 million belonging to SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.

Najib filed a notice of motion on Dec 1 to bring up evidence from Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki and SRC investigating officer Rosli Hussein or others deemed fit by the court.

In his affidavit in support of the motion, Najib said all issues raised in the High Court and Court of Appeal had not been fully determined and that it was within the interest of justice that he obtained a fair trial by producing all evidence.

He said the MACC had, on Nov 19, confirmed that RM65 million in 1MDB-linked funds were recovered from Cutting Edge Industries, a company in Singapore controlled by Tawfiq Ayman and his business partner, Samuel Goh.

Tawfiq is the husband of former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

It was reported earlier this year that Iron Rhapsody, owned by Tawfiq and his son, received a total of RM66 million from companies and bank accounts linked to fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, who is at the centre of the 1MDB scandal.

Singapore police were also reported to have informed BNM in 2015 and 2016 of these suspicious transactions involving companies owned by Tawfiq, with the funds coming from accounts linked to Low. Zeti was the BNM governor at the time.

Deputy public prosecutor Budiman Lutfi Mohamed refuted and said the former Prime Minister relied on mere conjecture and speculation to establish that there exists a conspiracy to suppress evidence relating to the trial.

He said the application failed to establish any exceptional circumstances, adding that it was deliberately timed and not due to subsequent unravelling of events.

He added that Zeti had been offered as a witness when Najib was ordered to enter his defence but the defence chose not to call or interview her.

Budiman said Zeti’s evidence at best was only relevant to the ongoing 1MDB trial and not the SRC appeal.

He said recent explanations by law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and former attorney-general Tommy Thomas did not support the contention or prove that the prosecution had actively concealed evidence that favoured Najib.

Further, he said Thomas’ explanation stated that investigations had not been completed.

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