Friday 21 Jun 2024
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PUTRAJAYA (March 15): Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said his client Datuk Seri Najib Razak is seeking a retrial of the SRC International Bhd case as the judge who found him guilty should have been disqualified from hearing the case.

Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali had in 2020 found Najib guilty of all seven counts of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering, and sentenced the former premier to a 12-year jail term and fined him RM210 million for misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International funds, which ended up in his personal accounts between Dec 26, 2014, and Feb 10, 2015.

Shafee said this was because Justice Nazlan served as group general counsel for Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), which took part in the decision to give 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) a loan of RM4.17 billion to partly finance the acquisition of Tanjong Energy Holdings Sdn Bhd.

Shafee said Justice Nazlan should have "disqualified" himself due to some opinions formed during the process of giving the loan. He also added that his team only became aware of this four days ago.

He also said that alternatively, they will ask for an acquittal if a re-trial is not possible.

“He should have disclosed this and not have heard the case,” Shafee told reporters at the Palace of Justice here on Tuesday (March 15).

On Monday, Shafee claimed that Justice Nazlan would have already formed opinions of the trial before he presided over the case.

"Because he went through the process and he evaluated, he would have formed certain opinions, especially when the company failed to pay.

"Question is, if you have formed some kind of opinion about the company, about the way the company mishandled itself, how can you hear [a case on 1MDB's wholly-owned] subsidiary SRC?" he asked.

The senior lawyer also indicated that he may call the judge to testify in the ongoing 1MDB-Tanore matter.

"He [will] be a witness here. If the prosecution doesn't call him, we will call him," he said.

He did not elaborate on when the application to adduce fresh evidence regarding Justice Nazlan's involvement in deliberations over Maybank's loan to 1MDB will be made.

Previously, in December 2021, the Court of Appeal (COA) dismissed an application to include fresh evidence, which would have enabled Najib to call Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki and former SRC investigating officer Rosli Hussein to be examined, as "not necessary".

Edited ByLam Jian Wyn
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