“We don’t ditch our clients”: No withdrawal if Najib’s SRC appeal proceeds

DATUK Seri Najib Razak’s new legal team has denied media reports suggesting that they intend to discharge themselves from acting for the former prime minister in the SRC appeal which will commence in the Federal Court next week. 

“I am surprised that a statement made in chambers to the deputy registrar found its way into the media reports almost instantaneously after the case management hearing,” lawyer Zaid Ibrahim said in a statement posted on Facebook on Friday (Aug 12). 

“I am not sure who the source of the media reports is. In any event, the reports are neither correct nor accurate.” 

The former law minister denied that his firm, Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners, told the court it would be discharging itself as solicitors at the hearing, stressing that any media report stating the contrary was “mischievous and regrettable”. 

“We do not abandon our clients,” Zaid insisted.  

“My firm agreed to take on this brief because our client has legitimate grievances with regard to his conviction, particularly on matters relating to rule of law, the law relating to bias, and conflict of interests.” 

Zaid noted that it was the sacred duty of any advocate to represent an accused person with such grievances without prejudging the matter. 

“Passing judgment is the domain of the courts. As lawyers, our duty is to present the client’s case to the best of our ability,” he said. 

“Najib’s legitimate expectation is that he will get a full and fair hearing before this Federal Court. It is our duty as his solicitors to enable that process. I regret that in doing so, scurrilous attacks have been made against my firm and me personally.” 

Najib was convicted on July 28, 2020 on seven charges of abuse of power and misappropriation of RM42 mil in SRC International funds after a 76-day trial. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment and fined RM210 mil. 

His appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed on Dec 8 last year. 

The present appeal before the Federal Court is Najib’s final opportunity to clear his name. 

Najib’s motion and the appeal are set to be heard beginning Aug 15. – Aug 12, 2022 

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE