PETALING JAYA: A court should not set aside any application to adduce fresh evidence, particularly in major cases that involve complicated issues and a potential conflict of interest, Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan said.
“Even though the party respects the maxim that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’, we also believed that ‘justice hurried is justice buried’,” he said in a statement tonight.
Mohamad, better known as Tok Mat, said he was left disappointed by the Federal Court’s decision to dismiss Najib Razak’s application to adduce fresh evidence in his SRC International appeal to prove there was a conflict of interest involving Nazlan Ghazali, the judge who had presided over the case.
Najib, who is also the MP for Pekan, was convicted by Nazlan on July 28, 2020, on seven charges of abuse of power and misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC funds after a 76-day trial. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment and fined RM210 million.
Mohamad went on to say that the party wanted the truth and justice to be upheld.
“We are of the opinion that any avenue and opportunity should be considered and not rejected on grounds of technicality.”
Yesterday, Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said the application to adduce additional evidence did not fulfil the requirements of the law.
Delivering the court’s judgment, Tengku Maimun said the judges could not see how the proposed additional evidence with regards to Nazlan’s previous employment with Maybank was related to the abuse of power charge against Najib under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act.
Nazlan was Maybank’s group general counsel and company secretary between 2006 and April 2015.
Tengku Maimun had also yesterday cited the maxim that “justice delayed is justice denied” when denying former prime minister Najib’s bid to postpone his SRC appeal.
This after Najib’s lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik requested a postponement of up to “three to four months” on grounds that the defence needed more time to prepare for the case, which they took over less than a month ago from the previous lawyers.
The court previously fixed 10 days – Aug 15 to 26 – to hear the former prime minister’s final appeal to quash his conviction for abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust over SRC funds amounting to RM42 million.
His conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Dec 8 last year, as was his 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine.
Mohamad also said that despite the party’s stand on the matter, its confidence in the judiciary would not be eroded.
Earlier tonight, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claimed the Federal Court’s decision to reject Najib’s application to adduce fresh evidence in his case could “erode the integrity of the judiciary”.