Shafee believes Federal Court will overturn decision

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s defence team is unfazed by the Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold the conviction and sentencing in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case, believing that the Federal Court will overturn the decision.

Lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said he was confident then and was equally confident now that the team’s Federal Court appeal would result in the judgment being overturned.

“I have attacked rather vigorously the decision the Court of Appeal made today (yesterday).

“This was a case that went on six months ago and was only decided today.

“I have said to the Court of Appeal that the judgment made in the High Court was not competent as there were mistakes of law.

“I am confident in our chances. There have been cases where decisions in the High Court that have been upheld by the Court of Appeal which then were thrown out by the Federal Court,” he said during a video press conference after the court delivered its judgment yesterday.

Shafee was responding to questions from the press on the chances of the decision being overturned in the Federal Court.

During the joint press conference together with Najib, Muhammad Shafee was seen wearing a beige tuxedo while Najib was seen donning a white shirt with a black-silver striped tie.

Both men appeared composed as they took questions from the press.

Shafee also pointed out that in his career, about 50% of the time the decision was overturned at the Federal Court.

“I am not troubled by the concurrent conviction. My confidence in this case is alive and has not reduced, not a bit.

“As you know even the learned High Court judge admitted in his ground of judgment that this is a case that poses serious difficulty of law and fact. Even the interpretation of law, this is the first time ever in the history of Malaysia such a law is being interpreted.

“As you can appreciate, it is not only a matter of mistake of fact or doubt as to the fact that you must leave the doubt in favour of the accused.

“If there is enough, we resolve it in favour of the accused, but they also say if there is doubt about the position of law to be interpreted, that doubt too must be resolved in favour of the accused.

“I hope they would find in their hearts in the Federal Court to apply this principle,” he said.

Separately, Muhammad Shafee also said as lawyers and litigants, they respectfully accept the decision of the court, but added that they are “allowed to criticise the decision without transgression into contempt of court”.

“I was disappointed that the court held that there is personal interest by Najib,” he said.

Muhammad Shafee questioned parts of the judgment such as the admissibility of certain photocopied documents as well as the authenticity of Arab donations, among others.

He also disputed the statement that Najib had micromanaged SRC International Sdn Bhd.

“The Court of Appeal made a finding that he (Najib) micromanaged SRC International Sdn Bhd.

“There is no such evidence that this was the case.

“He (Najib) was prime minister and finance minister at that point, he had 85 companies under his wing,” Shafee said, adding that Najib would not have the time to micromanage anyone.

“That is a glaring and obvious error,” he said.

Meanwhile, Najib also expressed his disappointment with the court’s decision, adding that he has instructed his defence team to file an appeal immediately.

“I would like to say that I am very disappointed by the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal this morning, I have asked my lawyers to file an appeal.

“The central issue regarding the SRC International Sdn Bhd is regarding RM42mil that was transferred to my personal account.

“I would like to reiterate that I did not know nor did I ask for it to be transferred to my personal account,” Najib said. ANN

‘Facts speak for themselves’

PUTRAJAYA: It’s only cold hard facts and not politics involved in the case against Datuk Seri Najib Razak who was found guilty of misappropriating RM42mil from SRC International Sdn Bhd, says the prosecution.

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said prosecutors were guided by the investigation papers and facts in the case against the Pekan MP.

“As prosecutors, we have the IP (investigation papers). There is no politics there. These are facts… cold, hard facts.

“We have to interpret those facts and we presented them to the court,” he told a press conference after proceedings ended yesterday.

Sithambaram said at the appellate stage, the SRC case has gone through two courts, with hundreds of pages of judgment written.

In yesterday’s decision on Najib’s appeal, Justice Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil delivered a 54-page summary judgment via Zoom in a hybrid proceeding.

Sithambaram said the full grounds of judgment by the appellate court stood at 316 pages.

Trial judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who convicted and sentenced Najib at the High Court, had written 801 pages in his full grounds of judgment which was dated Aug 21 last year.

“What was read (by Justice Abdul Karim) was just a summary. A synopsis.

“Four judges (one from the High Court and three from the Court of Appeal), so far, had looked at the case and found the evidence presented against Najib is justified to show the commission of the offences with which he’s charged and the sentence that was passed.

“So I think the facts speak for themselves,” said Sithambaram.

When asked if the appeal was taxing on the prosecution team, Sithambaram said the hearing at the High Court was more exhausting.

“It was a continuing trial. Sometimes, we had very little time. It was stressful. Many of us didn’t sleep many nights. Some resorted to sleeping pills.

“It is exhausting but as lawyers, it is fulfilling to do your job to the best of your ability,” he added.

The appeal hearing concluded on May 19 after 15 days, which has been described as “exceptionally long” by Justice Abdul Karim.  ANN