PUTRAJAYA: Shafee Abdullah has stressed the importance of having a fair trial after the Federal Court rejected Najib Razak’s bid to review his conviction and sentence in the SRC International corruption case.
The senior lawyer said he was “extremely disappointed” in the Federal Court’s judgment, which was handed down in a 4-1 majority, but took comfort in the lone dissenting voice.
Shafee said Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abdul Rahman Sebli was right in citing Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court allowing the court to prevent injustice and an abuse of the trial process when making his judgment.
“This suggests that an injustice had taken place with regard to Najib’s case,” he told reporters at the Palace of Justice here.
“Justice is not only about finding out if someone is guilty or not but also about the process of giving the fairest of trials.”
He said the court’s decision today ran the risk of setting a “bad precedent of unfair trials”.
Shafee said Najib’s legal team would consider the next course of action, be it through the court process or other means, but stopped short of disclosing details.
In a majority decision this morning, the Federal Court rejected Najib’s bid to review his conviction and sentence in the SRC case.
Najib will continue serving the remainder of his 12-year prison term, unless he secures a royal pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
On July 28, 2020, Najib was convicted by Justice Nazlan Ghazali, then a High Court judge, for abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust over SRC funds amounting to RM42 million.
He was sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million.