AG to ask COA President to expedite Najib’s appeal

Attorney-General (AG) Tommy Thomas wants the trial of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (picture) on seven charges involving SRC International Sdn Bhd funds, totalling RM42 million, to commence on Feb 25. 

Thomas informed the High Court  here today that he will write a letter to the Court of Appeal  (COA) President this afternoon to expedite the hearing of an appeal by Najib against the prosecution’s withdrawal of the certificate of transfer of his seven charges.

Thomas said the  prosecution  would ask the Court of Appeal to render the appeal to be heard as quickly as possible and will write a letter to the COA president for an early hearing date.

“If they (defence) were sincere and genuine in their appeal, why (do) they want to delay the trial. We (prosecution) don’t want to delay the trial,” he said when the case came up for mention before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

Thomas said today was supposed to be the first day trial of Najib’s SRC case, but had been postponed yesterday when the Court of Appeal allowed Najib’s application to temporarily postponed the trial pending the disposal of his appeal.

Thomas also applied for the dates of the trial, which had been fixed for  today until Feb 22, to be vacated and asked the court to maintain the trial dates that had been fixed earlier,  from Feb 25 to Feb 28 and March 4 to 29.

“We are confident that the appeal can be resolved by next week,” he said.

Mohd Nazlan fixed Feb 22 for case management for parties to update the progress of the appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Outside the court, lawyer Datuk V. Sithambaram, who was appointed to assist the prosecution team, told reporters that the prosecution will write to the Court of Appeal (COA) President for an early hearing date because the case involved public interest.

“We hope the president of COA will fix the hearing date for the appeal very shortly. So, the prosecution is confident that the case can go for trial from  Feb 25 until the end of March,” he added.

Yesterday, the COA allowed Najib’s application to stay the trial pending  his appeal against Mohd Nazlan’s ruling in granting  the prosecution’s withdrawal of a certificate to transfer the seven SRC charges against Najib.

Najib filed the notice of appeal last Feb 7 together with a certificate of urgency for the matter to be heard urgently.  

On July 4 last year, the 66-year old Pekan Member of Parliament was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one of abuse of power for gratification involving SRC International funds amounting to RM42 million.

On Aug 8 last year, he was charged again in the Sessions Court on three counts of money laundering involving the same amount of funds.

Najib, represented by lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, was  present in court today.