Stop repeating the same arguments, court tells Najib’s lawyer

Judge tells defence counsel to focus on submissions of the charges and how the trial judge erred

by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by ARIF KARTONO

THE Court of Appeal has reminded Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s (picture) defence counsel not to repeat the same arguments, be clear and move on to other points in their appeal submissions against the conviction and sentence relating to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Court of Appeal Justice Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil said to defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh to provide submissions on the charges and why the defence viewed High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali had erred in his verdict.

“You all (Najib’s team) are overlapping on the same thing for the past three days. We (the bench of three judges) are still waiting for your submission on the charges… how the trial judge erred, issues of law and all that. You have not touched on this at all,” Abdul Karim said at the appeal hearing in Putrajaya yesterday.

He said Harvinderjit made submissions on matters that had been brought by lead defence counsel Tan Sri Dr Muhamad Shafee Abdullah before, thus asking the lawyer to focus on other points.

However, Harvinderjit was interjected again by Abdul Karim when he started making submissions on Najib’s criminal breach of trust (CBT) issue, saying the lawyer was repeating the same points.

“You are repeating again. I say again, you must make us clear (on how the trial judge erred)…,” Abdul Karim said.

The appeal started on Monday with the defence case and the prosecution is scheduled to reply to the submissions beginning next week.

Earlier, Harvinderjit told the Court of Appeal that the prosecution was selective to charge Najib with CBT involving RM42 million from SRC International when investigators had issued red notices for the arrest of three others for the offence.

He said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had sought Interpol to issue the red notice to former SRC International director Datuk Suboh Md Yassin, former CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and another individual identified as Redzuan Adam Shah.

The trio was said to have fled overseas after the May 9 14th General Election in 2018.

Najib was found guilty of all the seven charges — one count of abuse of position, three counts of CBT and three counts of money laundering — relating to the misappropriation of RM42 million belonging to SRC International, a former unit of 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

The RM42 million funds were channelled into Najib’s bank accounts through Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd, purportedly SRC International’s corporate social responsibility partner.

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

Mohd Nazlan also sentenced Najib to 10 years of jail each for three CBT offences and 10 years of jail each for three money-laundering offences committed in the fund’s embezzlement.