Najib’s SRC International appeal to begin on Feb 15, 2021

by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

FORMER Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s (picture) appeal in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case will start on Feb 15 next year.

The Court of Appeal deputy registrar Darmafikri Abu Adam has fixed Feb 15-18, 20-25, and March 1-4 next year for the hearing.

He also set this upcoming Nov 4 for a case management to check appeal records.

On July 28, Najib was sentenced to 12 years of jail and fined RM210 million for abuse of power involving RM42 million funds misappropriated from SRC International.

He was found guilty of all the seven charges comprising one count of abuse of position, three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and three counts of money laundering in the RM42 million misappropriation of SRC International funds, ending over one year of court proceedings at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, however, allowed a stay of execution of the jail sentences and fine pending an appeal.

The presiding judge in Najib’s SRC International trial said the case is among the worst, due to the manner in which the offences were committed, as well as the conduct of the accused, according to a 433-page document of an official judgment made available last month.

“I would not hesitate to find that this case can be characterised as one that falls within the range of the worst kind of abuse of position, of CBT and of money laundering because not only of how the crimes were committed, but more importantly also, it involved a huge sum of RM42 million, had an element of public impact as the RM42 million belonged to a Minister of Finance Inc company — government funds, and could have originated from the RM4 billion financing from a state pension fund (Retirement Fund Inc or KWAP), and which the status of the bulk of RM4 billion is told to be indeterminate obscurity,” Mohd Nazlan said in the document.

The judge said Najib’s conviction of all the seven charges concerning abuse of position, CBT and money laundering constitutes nothing less than an absolute betrayal of trust.

“Political history will continue to debate whether he has balanced more good than harm. But this very process would arguably be inimical to the ideals of a clean administration that does not tolerate corruption and abuse of power.

“Whether the moral compass of the nation requires some recalibration deserves a separate discourse. What this court seeks to affirm is the sanctity of the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution,” he said.

Incorporated on Jan 7, 2011, SRC International is a private limited company aimed to identify and invest in projects associated with the exploration, extraction, processing and trading of conventional and renewable energy and natural resources, and minerals.

Najib was the PM, finance minister and SRC International advisor emeritus during the material period.