THE Federal Court’s rejection of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bid to review his conviction and sentence in the SRC International corruption case is a message to politicians and other likely offenders that no man is above the law.
At a press conference earlier today, ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said the former finance minister has exhausted all avenues of appeal in the case.
In urging all parties to accept the apex court’s majority decision, he expressed hopes that the dismissal of Najib’s bid to review his conviction and sentence would bring closure to the case.
“The Federal Court’s decision is also a vindication that the charges against Najib are legally sound and are not politically charged,” he told reporters.
“To politicians and other likely offenders, this prosecution has shown that no man in this land is above the law. This successful prosecution must send a chilling message to all would-be offenders that the law will catch up to you.”
Earlier, Justices Datuk Vernon Ong, Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang, Datuk Nordin Hassan and Datuk Abu Bakar Jais dismissed the former prime minister’s motion.
Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, who chaired the panel hearing the application, was the sole dissenting judge.
Today’s ruling effectively endorsed the Aug 2022 decision of the panel chaired by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat that ordered Najib to begin serving his sentence.
As a result of the decision, the former Pekan MP will serve out the remainder of his 12-year prison term, unless he secures a royal pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
On July 28, 2020, Justice Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali found Najib guilty of all seven charges – three for criminal breach of trust, three for money-laundering, and one for abuse of power – at the High Court.
Mohd Nazlan, who is now a Court of Appeal judge, then sentenced Najib to 12 years in prison and fined him RM210 mil in default five years imprisonment.
His decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Dec 8, 2021
Najib began his 12-year prison term on Aug 23, 2022, immediately after the Federal Court upheld the original conviction and sentence. – March 31, 2023
Main pic credit: Bernama