Chief Justice heads 5-man Federal Court panel to hear Najib’s SRC case appeal

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Najib’s bid to adduce fresh evidence.

Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and several other top judges are hearing Najib Razak’s appeal to include fresh evidence to set aside his conviction in the RM42 million SRC International corruption appeal.

Azman Ghani/The Star

Besides Tengku Maimun, the judges currently hearing Najib’s appeal in the Federal Court are Court of Appeal president Rohana Yusuf, Chief Judge of Malaya Azahar Mohamed, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and senior Federal Court judge Mohd Zawawi Salleh.

The former prime minister, who is freed on bail of RM2 million, wants to include evidence from Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki and SRC International investigating officer Rosli Hussein or others deemed fit by the court.

The appeals court last year affirmed the High Court’s decision in July 2020 to convict Najib on seven charges over RM42 million of SRC International funds that entered his accounts.

It also upheld Najib’s 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine.

In his application to include fresh evidence, Najib said all issues raised in the High Court and Court of Appeal had not been fully determined and that it was within the interest of justice that he obtained a fair trial by producing all evidence.

He said the MACC had, on Nov 19, 2019, confirmed that RM65 million in 1MDB-linked funds were recovered from Cutting Edge Industries, a company in Singapore controlled by Tawfiq Ayman, the husband of former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, and his business partner, Samuel Goh.

It was reported earlier this year that another Singapore-based company, Iron Rhapsody, owned by Tawfiq and his son, received a total of RM66 million from companies and bank accounts linked to fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, who is at the centre of the 1MDB affair.

Singapore police were also reported to have informed BNM in 2015 and 2016 of these suspicious transactions involving companies owned by Tawfiq, with the funds coming from accounts linked to Low. Zeti was the BNM governor at the time.