PUTRAJAYA — The Federal Court today was told that there is no evidential link between money received by Datuk Dr Tawfiq Ayman from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) in 2008 and SRC International Sdn Bhd monies found in Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s bank accounts.
Ad-hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said, in fact, SRC did not even exist the time Tawfiq received money from the sovereign wealth fund in 2008. Tawfiq is the husband of former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz
He was submitting before Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, who presided over the former premier’s appeal to adduce new evidence in relation to his SRC case.
“My Lord, now they (defence) are saying that the money Zeti’s husband received in 2008 somehow is connected with the money he (Najib) received in 2014. SRC did not even exist at that point of time.
“It is clear that the monies involved belong to 1MDB. The whole chain of events has nothing to do with SRC monies or in any way related to charges faced by the appellant (Najib). What has Zeti, and her husband have to do with this case,” said Sithambaram.
“The cumulative evidence does not remotely suggest that the money received by Zeti’s husband, her two sons had anything to do with SRC, its failed purpose and the scheme to siphon money from SRC. The whole “cumulative evidence”, if proven is a separate and independent offence unrelated whatsoever with the charge against the appellant at the trial,” said Sithambaram.
The other judges presiding on the bench were Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Rohana Yusuf, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Chief Judge Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and Federal Court Judge Datuk Seri Mohd Zawawi Salleh.
Earlier, Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah submitted that his client ought to be given a retrial at the Court of Appeal and for his application to admit further evidence be heard before a different panel for determination.
He said this was because, the previous panel chaired by Justice Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, comprising Justices Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera were influenced in shutting their minds from hearing this application in December last year.
“In the upshot, we respectfully submit that the hybrid hearing on Dec 7, 2021 of the appellant’s application to adduce new evidence before the Court of Appeal is, therefore, null and void, on the basis of serious infringement of the appellant’s constitutionally guaranteed right to a fair trial,” said the lawyer.
At this juncture, Justice Tengku Maimun asked Sithambaram if Najib was given the right hearing, to which, the prosecutor replied “My Lord, there was no double treatment…we were treated same”.
Najib, 68, made the application following the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s press release last Nov 19, on the recovery of fund assets of 1MDB inter alia from Singapore, whereby the Government of Singapore had repatriated a sum of US$15.4 million to Malaysia relating to an account of Cutting-Edge Industries Ltd (CEIL) owned by Zeti’s husband.
On Dec 7, 2021, the Court of Appeal dismissed the Pekan MP’s application to adduce new evidence in his appeal, by ruling that Najib had failed to cumulatively satisfy Section 61 of the Courts of Judicature Act, that fresh evidence was required for justice in the case.
On the next day, the same court upheld the conviction and 12-year jail term and RM210 million fine on Najib for misappropriating RM42 million in SRC funds after dismissing Najib’s appeal against the KL High Court decision on July 28, 2020.
The hearing of the appeal continues tomorrow.