Friday 09 Jun 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 21): The SRC International Sdn Bhd trial will be hearing further submissions from the prosecution in their bid to quash an application made by the defence to bring in a handwriting expert to verify Datuk Seri Najib Razak's signatures on several documents.

As hoc prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram said the prosecution had narrowed down the disputed exhibits to seven documents, comprising shareholder minutes, shareholder resolutions and a bank transfer instruction.

He said that some of these documents being disputed are exhibits from the defence. 

"It is ridiculous that the defence is also disputing their own exhibits, D534 and D535, which are also shareholder minutes.

Defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh has earlier contended that Najib (pictured) was shown photocopies of documents and could not verify its authenticity. 

Sithambaram also rebutted the defence's point and said the accused should have asked for the original documents back when the photocopies were tendered as evidence.

However, Harvinderjit argued that the documents have yet to be conclusively determined and it is the onus of the prosecution to call an expert to verify the documents.

He also contended that at no point during the prosecution's case did the defence admit to the authenticity of the documents.

The counsel argued that according to Article 5 of the Federal Constitution, Najib as an accused has a constitutional right to a fair trial.

Harvinderjit said the defence has procured a preliminary report from the expert, one Dr Steven Starch from Australia.

He said the defence had in early December forwarded scanned copies of the disputed documents to the expert.

However, Starch had said there were limitations as he cannot determine the authenticity of the signatures until he gets the primary documents.

Harvinderjit went on to say that the expert was necessary because the documents were only shown to them during the course of the trial.

"Half the things we found out during the trial were not told to us. The cutting and pasting of the signatures was discovered during the trial. The BBM [BlackBerry Messenger] chats were only revealed during the trial," he said, citing examples.

Harvinderjit also argued that the confirmation that a document contains Najib's signature does not mean that he executed the document.

Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali will hear the remainder of the application this morning and is expected to make a decision on the need for the document expert today. 

Najib is accused of seven charges in relation to the embezzlement of RM42 million from SRC, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

The Edge is reporting the proceedings of the SRC trial live.

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