PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has dismissed Najib Razak’s application to include fresh evidence to set aside his conviction in the RM42 million SRC International case appeal.
Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said the application to adduce additional evidence did not fulfil the requirements of the law.
“We find that this application does not comply with the requirements of the law.
“There is no appealable error,” she said.
Other judges who heard the appeal are Court of Appeal president Rohana Yusuf, Chief Judge of Malaya Azahar Mohamed, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, and Federal Court judge Zawawi Salleh.
Tengku Maimun said the court does not see how the purported evidence on Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s family members allegedly receiving 1MDB funds from Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) is relevant to Najib’s SRC International appeal.
In July 2020, Najib was convicted on seven charges of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust (CBT) over SRC International funds amounting to RM42 million. His conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Dec 8 last year.
The appellate court also upheld Najib’s 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine. However, Najib was released on bail pending his final appeal before the Federal Court.
“The allegations against them (Zeti and family) are related to another ongoing trial before the High Court and not in this appeal,” Tengku Maimun said referring to Najib’s 1MDB trial.
“The issue here is on the accused’s knowledge of RM42 million in his bank accounts. We don’t see how the proposed evidence is related to his ‘knowledge’.”
Najib filed an application seeking to include evidence from Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki and investigating officer Rosli Hussein or others deemed fit by the court at the 11th hour before the Court of Appeal was scheduled to deliver its ruling on his SRC International case.
He said issues raised in the High Court and Court of Appeal had not been fully determined and that it was within the interest of justice that he obtained a fair trial by producing all evidence.
Najib added that MACC had, on Nov 19, 2020, confirmed that RM65 million in 1MDB-linked funds were recovered from Cutting Edge Industries Ltd, a company in Singapore controlled by Zeti’s husband, Tawfiq Ayman and his partner, Samuel Goh.
Meanwhile, on the complaint by the defence that they were not given sufficient time to prepare their submissions during the Court of Appeal hearing, Tengku Maimun said they took the liberty to examine the notes of proceedings and found that the defence was given one hour and 22 minutes while the prosecution had 63 minutes.
“We find that the accused suffered no prejudice and he was not denied the right to be heard,” she added.
Tengku Maimun said the court noted that the application to adduce fresh evidence was “filed at the 11th hour” on Dec 2, 2021 after the Court of Appeal informed the prosecution and defence – a month earlier – that the SRC International case decision was fixed for Dec 8.
“In the present case, based on the facts and chronology, we note that the Court of Appeal had set a strict timeline for this application.
“We further note that during the case management for the SRC International case, the defence indicated they wanted to file the application.
“In compliance with the date and timeline that was fixed, the court was not minded to grant an adjournment which we find was a judicial exercise of discretion,” she added.
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