Prosecution shows SRC trial judge’s former Maybank role public knowledge since 2018

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It was only on June 7 this year that Najib had filed the application to add on purported new evidence in relation to Nazlan with the ultimate goal of seeking to nullify the trial.

The former Maybank roles of judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali — who had found Datuk Seri Najib Razak guilty in the trial over the misappropriation of more than RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd — has been public knowledge since at least 2018 or even earlier, the prosecution has shown today.

Bernama

Najib has been claiming that the SRC trial judge’s former Maybank roles are new evidence that he had only recently discovered, and had last month urged the Federal Court to nullify the SRC trial where he was found guilty and to consider ordering a retrial.

But the SRC prosecution today filed five affidavits in reply at the Federal Court, including one from a Maybank officer and three from journalists who had reported on the SRC case.

In his affidavit, Maybank’s FutureReady Operations and Service Infrastructure head Premkumar Rama confirmed that Mohd Nazlan had first joined Maybank as head of its corporate services in December 2005, with this department being the bank’s corporate secretarial department.

Premkumar confirmed that Mohd Nazlan was subsequently Maybank’s executive vice president and head of corporate services from December 2005 to June 2006, Maybank’s executive vice president and general counsel and company secretary from July 2006 to December 2013, executive vice president and group general counsel and company secretary from January 2014 until his resignation in April 2015.

April 2015 was also when Mohd Nazlan joined the judiciary as a judicial commissioner in the High Court then.

As part of his affidavit, Premkumar also showed the court the relevant pages in Maybank’s annual reports from the year 2006 to 2014, with these annual reports containing the details of Mohd Nazlan’s positions in the bank then.

As the person principally responsible for the management of human resources records in Maybank, Premkumar confirmed the accuracy of the details of Mohd Nazlan’s designations as contained in the Maybank annual reports.

In his affidavit, The Edge reporter Abdul Hafiz Mohammad Yatim confirmed having written a news report on August 2, 2018 regarding Mohd Nazlan being the trial judge who would hear Najib’s SRC trial.

In the 2018 news report which he had written for Malaysiakini then, Hafiz had listed out the Oxford graduate Mohd Nazlan’s past jobs before becoming a judge, including his positions as a lawyer, head of enforcement at the Securities Commission, and at Maybank where he was stated to be its previous head of corporate and legal services, general counsel and executive vice-president.

“I aver that the contents of the said news article are based on information sourced online and also from all other open sources available at the time. This would also include the Maybank Annual Reports published by the Maybank Group which is available in the public domain,” the journalist said in his affidavit.

In her affidavit, The Star’s chief reporter Nurbaiti Hanim Hamdan also confirmed having prepared an August 2, 2018 news report on Mohd Nazlan being the SRC trial judge — where the news report stated him as having worked at Maybank — and confirmed that the report was based on information available publicly online.

Previously on June 29, SRC prosecution team’s deputy public prosecutor Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul had in an affidavit highlighted that Najib — as a former prime minister and chairman of 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s board of advisers — should have known of Mohd Nazlan’s past job positions in Maybank.

Among other things, Mohd Ashrof had said it was public knowledge that Mohd Nazlan had worked with Maybank, based on the bank’s own annual reports which are publicly available as well as the August 2, 2018 news reports which also mentioned his bank roles, noting that this was even before the SRC trial began in April 2019.

In his affidavit filed today, New Straits Times senior news editor Sharanjit Singh S Tara Singh confirmed he had on April 6, 2021 written a news report on the Court of Appeal’s hearing of Najib’s appeal against his conviction and fine and jail sentencing in the SRC case.

The April 2021 news report had quoted Najib’s lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah as having described Mohd Nazlan as a “former banker” during the appeal hearing before Court of Appeal judges.

“I further aver that I was present and personally heard the comments made by the lead counsel for the applicant, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah in relation to the professional background of the High Court Judge, Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, being a former banker before he was appointed as a judge,” Sharanjit said.

While Nazlan had heard Najib’s SRC trial at the High Court and found him guilty in July 2020 and while Najib had in December 2021 lost his appeal and filed his final appeal in the Federal Court the same month, it was only on June 7 this year that Najib had filed this application to add on purported new evidence in relation to Nazlan with the ultimate goal of seeking to nullify the trial.

The Federal Court had as early as April 29 notified both Najib’s lawyers and the prosecution that it will be hearing his final SRC appeal over 10 days from August 15 to August 19, and from August 22 to August 26.

As for Najib’s application ultimately seeking for either the retrial or nullifying of his SRC trial based on his claims of Mohd Nazlan’s purported conflict of interest due to past Maybank roles, the Federal Court is scheduled to carry out case management on the case on July 29. – MMO