Najib seeks to tender new evidence to support his defence days before SRC appeal decision

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The former premier asks Court of Appeal to decide on his application before delivering decision on his appeal against the SRC conviction.

Days before the Court of Appeal is set to deliver its verdict on Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s appeal in the RM42 million SRC International graft case, the former premier is seeking to tender new evidence to support his defence.

Through a Notice of Motion filed at the Kuala Lumpur Court of Appeal, Najib is seeking to adduce the viva voce evidence of MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki, the graft buster’s investigating officer Rosli Hussein and several other witnesses.

The Court of Appeal has fixed Dec 8 to deliver its decision on Najib’s appeal to quash the High Court’s guilty verdict as well as the 12-year jail term and RM210 million fine in the SRC corruption case.

According to a copy of Najib’s affidavit in support of the application made available to the media today, the former premier explained that he seeks the adducing of the new evidence following the revelation by MACC that Singapore had repatriated to Malaysia US$15.4 million in 1MDB-linked funds that involved a company co-owned by Tawfiq Ayman, the husband of former Bank Negara (BNM) governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

Najib claimed that the evidence was not available during the SRC criminal trial before the Kuala Lumpur High Court and that the new evidence is “materially relevant” to the issues linked to the case.

“I verily believe that the evidence that has now been credibly discovered and verified reveals the complicity of Zeti in Jho Low’s (1MDB-linked fugitive) schemes.

“I verily believe that despite the matters being reported to BNM and Zeti personally, Zeti’s role in facilitating Jho Low resulted in no red flags or irregularities being raised on matters relating to the transactions in my (bank) accounts from 2011 to 2015 and further provided means for Jho Low to carry out his manipulations.

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“I verily believe that had such evidence been adduced during the trial, the trial court would have arrived at different findings in my favour and resultantly reasonable doubt would have been found to have been raised against the prosecution’s case on all the charges, both at the trial court and this honourable Court (of Appeal),” he contended.

Najib also asked for the Court of Appeal to decide on this application before delivering its decision on his appeal against the SRC conviction.

“I profusely apologise to this honourable court for any inconvenience occasioned, and I seek for this application to be heard at the earliest date possible, in any case prior to this court rendering any judgment, to prevent any delay towards the judicial process in the appeals,” he said in the affidavit.

Excluding today, there would be just three-week days left before the December 8 decision by the Court of Appeal.

The judiciary had on November 23 announced that the Court of Appeal would deliver its decision on Najib’s SRC appeal on December 8.

The Court of Appeal on November 24 was also reported to have rejected Najib’s November 23 application to postpone the SRC appeal decision date, and instructed for all parties to be present at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya on the scheduled date of December 8.

Najib’s lawyer had at that time applied for the December 8 decision date to be rescheduled, saying that his client would be in Singapore until December 5 and would be required to undergo a seven-day quarantine until December 12 and would only be able to attend court from December 13 onwards.

Previously, Najib was allowed to have his passport released temporarily from October 25 to December 6, with his lawyers informing the court that this was to enable his travel plan then of being in Singapore on November 21 until December 5.

It is unclear if Najib is currently in Singapore or Malaysia, or if he has made changes to his travel schedule that was informed to the court previously.

On Nov 27, the former premier lodged a police report against unidentified parties whom he accused of “concealing material evidence” related to financial transactions linked to 1MDB and SRC International which formed part of the criminal trials against him.

Najib told reporters then he was unable to reveal the names of the individuals but identified them as being appointed to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and the MACC during Pakatan Harapan’s federal administration.

Two days earlier on Nov 25, former Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas said MACC’s investigation against Zeti and her husband was not concluded under his watch from June 2018 to February 2020 during Harapan’s rule and he did not get a chance to see the papers.

Since the reported revelations against Zeti and her husband, various parties had called on the MACC to divulge its findings on the matter.