The appeal hearing of Najib Razak over the SRC International case commenced this morning in the Federal Court with news that the former prime minister had dismissed his new lawyers.
Lead defence counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik informed the five-member bench that Najib had discharged the members of his legal team from Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners.
Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat nonetheless ordered the hearing to proceed, with deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram resuming his oral submissions against Najib’s appeal.
Teh remained seated in the court along with two other lawyers.
Zaid confirmed his law firm has been dismissed and that he will issue a statement on the matter this afternoon.
This is the second time Najib has fired his legal team since the start of the SRC International trial.
On July 25, he dropped lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and the rest of his defence team who had appeared for him at the High Court and Court of Appeal trials.
Yesterday, the Federal Court denied Hisyam’s request to discharge himself from representing Najib in his final appeal.
Tengku Maimun said the court had the discretion to deny the request.
“We are of the view that counsel has not shown cause to discharge himself. We deny his request to discharge himself. He is still on record as lead counsel,” she had said.
On July 28, 2020, the High Court sentenced Najib to 12 years in prison and fined him RM210 million for criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power.
The conviction and sentence were later upheld by the Court of Appeal. – TMI