Facebook posts: Prosecution demands Najib’s apology

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

The prosecution team in the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial has filed a formal application demanding that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (picture) apologises for his comments about a witness’ testimony relating to his credit card spending.

In the application filed yesterday, the Public Prosecutor wants a speedy hearing to compel the former prime minister to personally apologise for posting sub judice statements in Facebook on July 15 at 9.30 pm and on July 17 at 11.23 am.

The prosecution is also seeking an order to prohibit Najib from publishing or causing the publication of similar statements concerning evidence submitted by witnesses during the SRC trial.

It is further seeking for Najib, as the respondent in the application, to remove the publications, and other orders and relief deemed fit by the court.

Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Muhammad Izzat in his supporting affidavit said the two postings, if read in full, clearly showed Najib’s attempt to present his defence through social media, and comments on evidence submitted in court.

“This is clearly sub judice and intended to influence the evidence in court and to solicit public support to provide pressure and influence the decision of the court.

“It is clear that such an act is improper and interfered with the administration of justice and the legal process.

 “The two postings in question are tantamount to comments and explanations prejudicial to judicial proceedings, and in advance, have already made a judgment,” he said.

He said the publications in question were about matters yet to be decided by the court, and encroached on how the issue should be judged or dealt with.

DPP said these would directly prejudice the outcome of proceedings which would lead to a substantial risk of interference with the legal process and justice.

On July 18, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas requested of the High Court to issue an order for Najib to apologise to the court. On July 23, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ruled that it would be better for the prosecution to make a formal application.

In the previous proceeding, Thomas said Najib posted comments on the evidence given by the 47th prosecution witness, Ambank Group senior vice president Yeoh Eng Leong regarding the accused’s use of his credit card to purchase gifts for foreign royalty.

He said the prosecution wanted an unconditional apology from the accused on his action and a pledge that he would not repeat such behaviour.

Najib, 66, is accused of three counts of criminal breach of trust, one charge of abuse of power and three counts of money laundering involving RM42 million in funds belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.