AG to ask top judge to expedite appeal on transfer certificate

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution in former prime minister Najib Razak’s SRC International trial will write to the Court of Appeal president to fix an early date to determine an appeal against the public prosecutor’s withdrawal of his certificate of transfer.

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, who is also the public prosecutor, said this when updating High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali on yesterday’s proceedings in the Court of Appeal.

“We will write to the president (Ahmad Maarop) to expedite the appeal,” he said.

Yesterday, a three-member Court of Appeal bench chaired by Ahmadi Asnawi allowed Najib’s application to postpone his trial on seven charges linked to SRC International.

The trial was initially scheduled to begin today.

Thomas also requested that the High Court registry prepare the appeal records for the Court of Appeal to fix the appeal date.

He suggested that case management be fixed next week for Nazlan to receive updates on the progress in the Court of Appeal.

“All future trial dates are kept intact pending case management,” he added.

Nazlan, who fixed case management on Feb 22, said the appeal records were being prepared and should be ready by this week.

Najib, who is represented by lawyers Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Harvinderjit Singh, was present in court today.

Ad-hoc deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram later told reporters that all trial dates from Feb 25 to March 29 remained unchanged.

Nazlan had in August last year fixed a 33-day trial from Feb 12 to March 29.

Last week, he allowed the public prosecutor to withdraw his certificate to transfer Najib’s seven charges from the High Court to the Sessions Court.

The judge then used his discretion under Section 417 of the Criminal Procedure Code to transfer the cases back to his court for him to preside over the trial.

The defence has taken the position that Thomas was wrong in withdrawing the certificate, and that Nazlan should have left it to the registry to decide which High Court judge should hear the transfer of the cases.

Najib faces six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million into his account from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.

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