What led Najib to replacing Shafee with Hisyam in SRC appeal

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Change in line-up of lawyers from Shafee & Co to Messrs Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners.

According Najib:

  • Change in line-up of lawyers came after failure to get QC
  • Had consulted lawyers in Singapore and Indian Senior Advocates on the matter prior to change
  • Senior lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik leading appeal alongside counsel from Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners
  • Shafee not ditched but handling other cases

The change in the line-up of lawyers in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s defence in the SRC International Sdn Bhd appeal came after the failure to get Queen’s Counsel Jonathan Laidlaw to represent Najib in the final appeal.

In a brief statement, Najib said he had consulted lawyers in Singapore and the Indian Senior Advocates on the matter prior to the change.

Today, news broke that Messrs Shafee & Co was discharged from representing Najib in the final appeal at the Federal Court.

The Federal Court was informed of the development in a letter dated July 26 from Messrs Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners (ZIST) that it was replacing Shafee & Co in representing Najib in the appeal.

ZIST also stated that senior lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik from Messrs Hisyam Teh will be leading the appeal, alongside co-counsel Liew Teck Huat and Rueben Mathiaravanam from ZIST.

Najib said he was confident that the new team would bring different perspectives to his defence.

He also said that the previous law firm Shafee & Co and its lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah would continue as the solicitor and counsel in all other cases involving him before the Malaysian courts.

Bernama

“It is unfair for the media to conclude or report that Shafee & Co has been ‘evicted’ or ‘ditched’,” he added, referring to reports on portals regarding the discharge of Shafee & Co.

In a letter to the deputy registrar of the federal court today, ZIST is seeking urgent case management to seek for an adjournment to the SRC trial, which is slated to begin on August 15.

The firm requested that the court hold a case management on July 29.

ZIST also told the court that they would not be pursuing an appeal in seeking to admit Queen’s Counsel Jonathan Laidlaw to argue the SRC International appeal.

ZIST is the law firm where former law minister Zaid Ibrahim now practises rather than Zaid Ibrahim & Co, which was the first one he founded and also bears his name.

Hisyam, who has 45 years of experience, is currently representing Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in the former deputy prime minister’s corruption cases in the High Court.

Hisyam previously represented Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who was accused of murdering Kim Jong-nam in 2017.

He also appeared in several high-profile criminal cases, representing tow truck driver Koong Swee Kuan in his final appeal over AmBank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi’s murder, as well as farmhand T Thilaiyalagan in cosmetics millionaire Sosilawati Lawiya’s murder case.