Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad expressed shock that Najib Razak thought he could be acquitted from the seven charges relating to the SRC International case.
“He was shocked? I am shocked that he is shocked,” the 94-year-old leader said.
“The whole world knows he is guilty. The hearing took months and he had a really good hearing.”
The prime minister said Najib could even go on a campaign trip to Tg Piai in Johor after calling in sick the previous day.
“He couldn’t attend court but could go to Tg Piai the following day with swollen eyes.
“All this nonsense you get from him because we are being lenient and we follow the rule of law,” he added.
Earlier, high court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ordered Najib to enter his defence in the SRC International trial on charges of misappropriating RM42 million from the former 1Malaysia Development Bhd subsidiary.
In a press conference later, Najib’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said the Pekan MP was shocked with the judgement.
“He was shocked that for every charge, defence was called.
“He was expecting an acquittal on all seven charges. We were confident on all seven charges that there would be an acquittal at this stage because we have rebutted the presumption (of guilt) even within the prosecution’s case.
“He’s surprised. Shocked is the word,” Shafee had said.
In a separate statement later, Najib said he will clear his name in court.
“In order to defend myself, I will need to give a sworn statement where I can be cross-examined by the prosecution,” he said in a Facebook post.
On accusations that he interfered in Najib’s trial, Dr Mahathir in dismissing the allegation said, “I never interfere with the court. During my time, the court decided to regard my party as illegal and I didn’t fight the court. I went through the proper way.”