All eyes on Court of Appeal as nation awaits decision on Najib’s SRC case

The three-member Court of Appeal bench had reserved its judgment after hearing submissions from both sides during the past six months. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: All attention will be on the Court of Appeal this morning as it is set to deliver the much-awaited judgment of the appeal by former prime mminister Najib Razak against his conviction and sentence in the RM42 million SRC International case.

Najib will know in a few hours whether the appellate court will allow his appeal on seven charges or affirm the High Court decision to convict him.

The other judges are Has Zanah Mehat and Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.

It will be a hybrid proceeding, with the prosecution team, led by ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram, appearing before the bench to hear the verdict.

However, Najib and his legal team, led by Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, will not be in the courtroom. They will be in their respective homes or offices.

This is because one of the lawyers in Najib’s legal team from Shafee & Co had tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

As a result, the status of all the lawyers in their MySejahtera app is that they were in close contact with an infected person.

Najib, who is also the Pekan MP, is under self quarantine because he was with his lawyers at the legal firm on Monday.

Former Bar Council president Salim Bashir said a recent amendment to the Courts of Judicature Act allowed for virtual proceedings to be held for criminal and civil appeals.

He said the norm is that an appellant will follow the proceedings from the prison while his counsel and the deputy prosecutor will either make submissions before a judge in court or from their offices.

“Due to an unexpected turn of events, Najib will know the outcome of his appeal from his home,” he added.

Meanwhile, barricades have been erected around the Palace of Justice which houses the Court of Appeal and Federal Court to prevent any untoward incident.

However, there is unlikely to be any gathering since the decision of the appeal will be online.

The court had heard Najib’s appeal to quash his conviction on seven charges of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust (CBT) over SRC International funds from April 5.

Najib was accused of abusing his power as the prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc.

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

High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali sentenced him to 12 years’ jail and fined him RM210 million after finding him guilty of the seven charges in July last year.  FMT

Small show of support at Najib’s residence tonight

A group of former prime minister Najib Razak’s supporters visits his residence tonight to show solidarity. – Pic from Facebook, December 7, 2021.
They were among the Najib supporters nationwide who held prayers tonight in solidarity with their leader.

According to one supporter met by The Malaysian Insight at the house, those who attended left by 9pm.

However, Najib was not present at that house as he is in self-quarantine at another residence in the capital.

“I received a lot of messages, calls, and read a lot of posts and comments on Facebook that gave words of support and prayers as well,” Najib said in his Facebook post.

Earlier today, Najib’s last-minute application to enter new evidence in his appeal against his conviction was thrown out, setting the stage for the verdict to be delivered by the Court of Appeal tomorrow.

The judges are set to rule tomorrow whether to uphold or overturn Najib’s conviction for multiple counts of money laundering, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and power abuse in relation to the theft of RM42 million of funds belonging to SRC International.

In July last year, High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali sentenced Najib to 10 years in jail for each of the three CBT and three money-laundering charges, as well as 12 years in prison and a fine of RM210 million for one charge of power abuse.

He later allowed Najib’s application to stay the execution of the verdict pending disposal of his appeal. Bail was allowed at RM2 million in two sureties.  TMI