Najib in court custody pending mitigation hearing for SRC case

Former prime minister Najib Razak at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Najib Razak is being held in court custody pending his mitigation hearing following the High Court’s judgment today declaring him guilty of seven charges related to SRC International funds.

A member of the prosecution team said Najib was in custody as he had been convicted of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust (CBT).

Meanwhile, High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali will resume proceedings at 2pm to hear submissions from Najib’s lawyers Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Harvinderjit Singh, and ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram.

Shafee, who had asked that the mitigation hearing be deferred to next week, said only Najib would be prejudiced if his request was not granted.

“My client is going nowhere since the country is under lockdown,” he added.

“We cannot do a complete mitigation without clear instruction from him. I need time to prepare because this is the biggest case in the world.”

Adding that he had never conducted a mitigation hearing “in less than two hours”, he said he would also be seeking a stay of Najib’s conviction.

“My client posted about RM6 million bail in total for four criminal trials against him, including RM1 million in this case,” he said.

Najib faces jail of between 15 and 20 years and a fine for the seven convictions against him.

Sithambaram said the prosecution was ready to mitigate an appropriate sentence.

“This is rather an awkward situation for us, and I need some guidance from the court,” he added.