SRC International trial: Federal Court rejects Najib’s lawyer withdrawing himself

by SHAFIQQUL ALIFF / pic BERNAMA

THE Federal Court has rejected the application of Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s defence chief, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik (picture), to exclude himself from representing the former prime minister in his final appeal to quash his conviction and sentence for misappropriation of RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd funds and continue to hear the prosecution’s arguments.

Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said the bench’s unanimous view that Hisyam had failed to disclose adequate cause to support his ground to the courts to determine whether the facts of a given case give rise to the necessary cause.

“Therefore, the application for discharge is refused and council remains on record in the interest of justice,” she said.

The chief justice then ordered the proceedings to continue, with the head of prosecution Datuk V Sithambaram continuing his arguments.

Hisyam earlier appealed to the Federal Court to reconsider its judgment in rejecting the adjournment as he was not prepared to go on or he had no choice but to withdraw himself from the case, leaving his client unrepresented.

He apologises to the Federal Court that he is unable to proceed with the appeal.

“It was an error of judgment on my part to have accepted the brief. However, I had then expected the court to grant an adjournment given the breadth and scope of this appeal. I would again ask for more time,” he said.

The chief justice asked Hisyam if he was aware of the consequences if he did not proceed with the appeal.

However, Tengku Maimun rejected Hisyam’s request, citing that the bench had already given its broad grounds on the issue in the last hearing on Tuesday and that Hisyam should proceed with arguing the final appeal.

“We have already given our broad judgments to this matter and we have full confidence in your ability and you should proceed,” she said.