Najib’s application to enter more evidence in SRC case made in bad faith and meant to delay trial, court hears
KUALA LUMPUR: The application by Datuk Seri Najib Razak to adduce additional evidence in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case is to delay the decision in the appeal, which has been fixed for Wednesday (Dec 8).
This was stated by the prosecution in its affidavit-in-reply to Najib’s supporting affidavit in his motion to allow new evidence to be admitted.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Budiman Lutfi Mohamed, who affirmed the affidavit, said that the application was meant to delay the decision in the appeal by re-opening the entire case.
He said Najib could have commenced the application as early as January before initiating his appeal on April 5 but took close to 11 months from January and a few days before the decision in his appeal to file his application.
“The application failed to establish any exceptional circumstances to allow additional evidence to be adduced before the decision of the appeal on Dec 8 (Wednesday),” he said.
He also categorically denied that the prosecution had concealed any fact relevant to the charges during the trial or appeal before the court.
“I aver that this application is deliberately timed and not due to any subsequent unravelling of events,” DPP Budiman said.
The prosecution also stated that Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who is one of the key figures mentioned in Najib’s application, was offered to the defence at the end of the prosecution’s case to be called as a defence witness but the applicant chose not to call the former Bank Negara governor as a witness.
On Dec 1, Najib filed the application through Messrs Shafee & Co., seeking for the Court of Appeal to allow and direct for the viva voce evidence (oral evidence) of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki, among others, to be taken for the purpose of the appeal.
Apart from Azam, the Pekan MP also wants viva voce evidence to be taken from MACC investigating officer Rosli Hussein.
He also wants viva voce evidence from any other witnesses or any other additional or further evidence which may arise based on his affidavit or as the court sees fit and appropriate.
In his supporting affidavit, Najib said the evidence that he applied to be admitted and adduced in the application was a cumulation of matters from several events, statements and public announcements that happened recently.
“The cumulative evidence was not available to me or obtainable by me either during the trial before the High Court or during the previous proceedings in the appeals before this court.
“I could not uncover this evidence, in spite of my diligent search, as the prosecution, MACC and Bank Negara were actively concealing them,” he claimed.
Najib said the application was made without delay as soon as he was made aware of all the necessary information.
The hearing of Najib’s application at the Court of Appeal has been fixed for Tuesday (Dec 7). MKINI
Relevant evidence already tendered in Najib’s RM42m SRC trial – DPP
The prosecution contended that there is no new evidence to be tendered in Najib Abdul Razak’s appeal to quash his conviction and sentencing in the RM42 million SRC International corruption case.
Through an affidavit to oppose the former prime minister’s bid to adduce new evidence to back his defence, deputy public prosecutor Budiman Lutfi Mohamed claimed that all available evidence was already before both the High Court which heard the case against Najib (above), and the Court of Appeal which heard the accused’s appeal.
He claimed that the new evidence sought by Najib has no bearing on the RM42 million SRC corruption case against the former prime minister.
The DPP also rubbished the defence team’s claim that the prosecution hid any relevant evidence in the RM42 million SRC graft case.
“I further aver that this application failed to establish any exceptional circumstances to allow additional evidence to be adduced before the decision of these appeals on Dec 8, 2021.
“The prosecution states that this application is to delay the decision of these appeals by reopening the entire case as is evident from the prayers and consequences of the orders sought (by Najib’s application to adduce new evidence),” Budiman contended.
“I categorically deny that the prosecution has concealed any fact relevant to the charges during the trial or appeals before this honourable court,” the DPP claimed in the affidavit, which was made available to the media this afternoon.
The prosecution’s court filing was a response to Najib’s application to adduce new evidence in his SRC appeal.
On Dec 8, the Court of Appeal is scheduled to deliver its verdict on Najib’s appeal to quash the High Court’s guilty verdict against him, as well as the 12-year jail term and RM210 million fine in the SRC corruption case.
The appellate court has also set tomorrow to hear Najib’s bid to adduce new evidence.
Prosecution contends it’s a delay tactic
In his application, Najib claimed, among others, that evidence relevant to his defence was concealed from his defence team in the trial of the SRC case.
Among the alleged new evidence that Najib seeks are those involving the Singapore banking and financial details of the family of former Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
Najib is also seeking to adduce alleged fresh evidence involving MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki, the graft buster’s investigating officer Rosli Hussein and several other witnesses.
In the application, he explained that he seeks the adducing of the new evidence, following the revelation by MACC that Singapore had repatriated to Malaysia US$15.4 million in 1MDB-linked funds that involved a company co-owned by Tawfiq Ayman, the husband of Zeti.
In the affidavit to oppose the application, Budiman contended that the new evidence bid was a tactic to delay the Court of Appeal from delivering its SRC appeal verdict this Wednesday.
The prosecutor claimed that the application was deliberately timed as Najib’s defence team declined the prosecution’s offer of Zeti as a witness during the RM42 million SRC trial.
“The applicant took close to 11 months from January 2021 and a few days before the Court of Appeal is scheduled to deliver its decision on the appellant’s appeal, to file this application.
“This deliberate delay and the irrelevance of the so-called fresh evidence to the charges demonstrates that this is a mala fide (of bad faith) application,” Budiman contended.
On Nov 27, Najib lodged a police report against unidentified parties whom he accused of “concealing material evidence” related to financial transactions linked to 1MDB and SRC International which formed part of the criminal trials against him.
Najib told reporters then he was unable to reveal the names of the individuals but identified them as being appointed to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and the MACC during Pakatan Harapan’s federal administration.
Two days earlier on Nov 25, former attorney-general Tommy Thomas said MACC’s investigation against Zeti and her husband was not concluded under his watch from June 2018 to February 2020 during Harapan’s rule and he did not get a chance to see the papers.
Since the reported revelations against Zeti and her husband, various parties had called on the MACC to divulge its findings on the matter. MKINI
ANN / MKINI