SRC International case: Najib to know review verdict tomorrow

DATUK Seri Najib Razak’s fate hangs in balance as the apex court is set to decide tomorrow (March 31) on the former prime minister’s application to review his conviction and sentencing in the RM42 mil SRC International corruption case.

Recall that on Aug 23 last year a five-judge panel led by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat had affirmed the former finance minister’s conviction and sentence in the case, making him the first former prime minister in the history of the country to be jailed.

This is following the High Court verdict which saw Najib being sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 mil after being found guilty of seven charges including power abuse, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.

The decision of the five-person Federal Court bench chaired by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli to be delivered tomorrow could result in the complete acquittal of the former Pekan MP on seven charges of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.

On July 28, 2020 the High Court had sentenced Najib to 12 years in prison and fined RM210 mil after being found guilty of all seven charges.

Should the apex court not dismiss the review bid, it could also either order for a retrial of Najib’s case before a new High Court judge (other than Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali) or for a re-hearing of his appeal before a fresh Federal Court bench (not led by Tengku Maimun).

The other members of the bench presiding over the review application are Federal Court judges Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Nordin Hassan, as well as Court of Appeal judge Datuk Abu Bakar Jais.

The Federal Court had heard the review bid over a six-day period that began on Jan 19, proceeded through Feb 20 to 22 and 27, and ended on Feb 28.

Following the dismissal of his appeal to set aside his guilty verdict as well as the 12-year jail sentence and RM210 mil fine, Najib has gone before the current Federal Court panel to hear his review over the case involving one count of abuse of power, three counts of criminal breach of trust, and three money laundering charges.

Incarcerated in Kajang Prison, Najib is also pursuing other avenues outside the judiciary, namely a petition for a royal pardon as well as a petition before the United Nations via the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) over his alleged arbitrary detention. – March 30, 2023


Main pic credit: Reuters

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