Najib fails in bid for QC to appeal his case

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Local advocates and solicitors are more than capable of handling such cases.

Hari Anggara

The High Court today dismissed Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s application for Queen’s Counsel Jonathan James Laidlaw to represent him in the final appeal against his conviction for misappropriating RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

High Court judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid said while it was undeniable that Laidlaw is deemed a ‘star silk’ in financial crimes, he said this alone does not mean the latter possesses special skills, expertise, qualifications and knowledge on the application of criminal laws in Malaysia which are relevant to Najib’s appeal before the Federal Court.

“I agree with the honourable attorney general, the learned deputy public prosecutor, KL Bar Committee, the Malaysian Bar and the KL Bar Committee that the appeal is one that can quite competently be handled by local advocates and solicitors.

“As such, the originating motion in enclosure one is hereby dismissed,” Ahmad Kamal said while delivering his verdict.

Also present at today’s proceedings were ad hoc prosecutor, Datuk V Sithambaram — who is leading the prosecution in Najib’s SRC International case — and lawyer Rahmat Hazlan for Laidlaw. Lawyers Datuk Gurdial Singh Nijar and Datuk Bastian Vendargon appeared for the KL Bar Committee and the Malaysian Bar, respectively.

The Federal Court is scheduled to hear Najib’s SRC appeal from August 15 to 19, and from August 22 to 26. It is Najib’s final avenue of appeal against his conviction and sentence.