Trying every trick to delay and hide.
Former PM Najib Razak used to brag that he would never seek to have his criminal cases dropped, but instead want to clear his name in the courts. His so-called hotshot lawyer Shafee Abdullah previously said Najib wanted to get acquittal through the court process. Of course, in reality, the serial liar knew he was a crook, but had to act as if he was innocent.
Najib’s PR team was being paid millions to create a false narrative on social media that the former prime minister was innocent. They knew Najib’s 1MDB scandal was too toxic and the trials were too explosive to be dropped. Hence, they play psychological games to scam gullible villagers that Najib was not interested to get his cases dropped, when in truth it “cannot” be dropped.
The scandal involved global investigation across three continents, where money was spent on high-end property, luxury goods and lavish holidays and parties involving Najib, his family and partner Jho Low. The US-DoJ investigation results say that over US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from the 1MDB fund, with some of the money used to buy a private jet, a super yacht, Picasso paintings, jewellery and real estate.
Therefore, it’s not easy to drop Najib’s corruption and money laundering cases, even if the backdoor government of Muhyiddin wanted to help him. The world, especially the US authorities and foreign investors, were watching with great interest. Behind the scene, Najib secretly sent his intermediaries to approach then-PM Muhyiddin to interfere in the judiciary process to influence his trials.
When Muhyiddin refused, not that he believed in judiciary independence, but rather because Najib was a direct political threat to Muhyiddin, the disgraced Najib finally made his move to topple Muhyiddin by withdrawing support for the fragile Muhyiddin backdoor regime. By then, Najib had been sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million by the High Court on July 28, 2020.
Since the shocking guilty verdict, Najib no longer blows his horn that he wants to clear his name in the courts. He almost burst into tears when all the three judges of the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court decision on December 7, 2021. It was bad when the High Court said Najib was guilty. It became worse when the Court of Appeal not only agreed with the High Court, but mocked Najib’s defence.
Najib’s most ridiculous lie – Arab donation – was rubbished by the Court of Appeal. Judge Abdul Karim said the donation from the King of Saudi Arabia was “a concoction”, due to the defence’s failure to provide evidence to confirm that the RM42 million indeed originated from the Saudi royal family. Because the authenticity of Arab letters cannot be established, the donation remained hearsay and inadmissible.
In fact, all the judges found the so-called letters from one Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud on behalf of the Saudi King was so “faked” that the letters clearly show they are nothing but a fabrication. Worse, the Court of Appeal also rejected Najib’s claims that he was acting in national interest, a political propaganda cooked to hoodwink UMNO-Malay supporters, and called it a “national embarrassment” instead.
As they said – three strikes and you are out. Both the High Court and the Court of Appeal have delivered two strikes to Najib Razak. With all the evidence stacked against Najib, what are the chances that the Federal Court, the highest court and the final appellate court in the country, will deliver a shocking reverse verdict that Najib is as innocent as a lamb?
Even if the Federal Court is infiltrated with pro-Najib corrupt judges, a verdict in favour of Najib will be too obvious. The Court of Appeal has demonstrated its utmost confidence that Najib was absolutely guilty, so much so no one had expected the judges would dare to mock the crook as a “national embarrassment”. It would be incredibly difficult for the Federal Court to overturn four judges’ earlier verdicts.
However, former premier Mahathir Mohamad has pre-emptively revealed how the Federal Court could be manipulated to help Najib – with help from King Sultan Abdullah. Scraping the bottom of the barrel for excuses to escape prison, the monarch from Pahang, the state from which Najib inherited the highest-ranking noble title as one of “the four chiefs”, might pardon the crook if the final appeal is not unanimous.
Yes, after the unanimous decisions by four senior judges (one High Court judge and three Court of Appeal judges) that former Prime Minister Najib Razak is guilty of corruption and money laundering, all it takes now is just one of five Federal Court judges to disagree. The non-unanimous decision could set the motion for the corrupt government to approach the Palace to immediately pardon crooked Najib.
Mahathir has every reason to launch the pre-emptive strike. A photo of a convicted criminal – Najib Razak – invited to the Palace for a special dinner during Ramadan on April 18 has raised eyebrows over the real possibility that the Agong (King), known for his close relationship with Najib, is ready to grant a royal pardon to the despicable crook as part of a power play among the Malay elite.
Not only Najib was invited to dine and wine with the King, the crook was seated at the high table alongside PM Ismail Sabri, who in turn was seated next to the monarch. The message that the Malay Monarch is sending to the world is obvious – every institution is corrupt after more than 60 years under one party rule since independence in 1957. Worse, it sends the wrong message to the judiciary.
However, Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat – the first woman Chief Justice – is heading a panel of five judges to preside over the final appeal. And Najib, despite armed with a battalion of expensive lawyers led by his self-proclaimed hotshot attorney Shafee Abdullah, has absolutely no confidence to convince the Federal Court during a 10-day appeal from Aug 15 to 26.
The defence team is practically throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, before the Judgement Day. The plan was to falsely accuse High Court Judge Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who found Najib guilty, of having had a conflict of interest even though Nazlan’s former job as a General Counsel at the Maybank is irrelevant to the SRC International case against the former premier.
Not only Nazlan’s job with Maybank was public knowledge, there was no evidence whatsoever that the judge was involved in establishing SRC International Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of 1MDB which was used by Najib to enrich himself and his families. Besides, Najib and his legal eagles knew of Nazlan’s previous career in Maybank throughout the trial and had never complained – till Najib was found guilty!
Najib’s desperation also saw the world’s biggest crook trying to appoint Queen’s Counsel (QC) from the United Kingdom to argue in his final appeal. However, the plan to intimidate Federal Court judges with an English-speaking QG has been jeopardised following the trial of Tim Leissner. Leissner’s testimony has done more damage than Najib had wanted at this critical time.
Leissner, the former chief of Goldman Sachs’ Southeast Asia operation, has exposed more dirty backroom and bedroom deals – sex, bribes and blackmail – during his testimony in a US federal court in the 1MDB trial of Roger Ng, Goldman’s Malaysian head of investment banking. Ng had received RM35 million in kickbacks to take part in the money laundering scheme.
While 52-year-old Leissner pleaded guilty in August 2018 to conspiring to violate US anti-bribery laws and money laundering, Ng had pleaded not guilty to helping launder millions of dollars looted from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB. Ng’s lawyer said he is a “fall guy” for one of the biggest financial scandals in Wall Street history, as Leissner testifies as a government witness against Ng.
In April, Roger Ng was found guilty by a New York jury, leaving him to face up to 30 years in prison. The verdict, which came after an eight-week federal trial in the US, was not only delivered at lightning speed compared to Najib’s snail-pace trial, but has directly implicated Najib Razak, his stepson Riza Aziz and partner-in-crime Jho Low in the biggest heist that stole billions of dollars from 1MDB.
Ng’s trial revealed new details of the scheme – Jho Low had stolen US$1.42 billion (RM6 billion), Najib Razak similarly stole US$756 million (RM3.2 billion) while Riza Aziz pocketed US$238 million (RM1 billion). The US Jurors were also shown how 1MDB money was stolen to fund a US$23 million pink diamond necklace for Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor.
About a week ago (July 21), the High Court rejected an application by Queen’s Counsel Jonathan Laidlaw to represent Najib in the final appeal, arguing that there are sufficient local attorneys who are more than capable of handling the former PM’s case. Everyone knows the purpose of the QC was to not only intimidate local judges, but also to delay the final appeal with all sorts of postponements and retrials.
To make matters worse for Najib, former Attorney General Apandi Ali has admitted on July 16 that he was involved in brokering a deal between fugitive Jho Low and the Malaysian government as early as May this year. Jho Low had apparently offered RM1.5 billion to settle the charges against him. The fact that Apandi, an appointee of Najib, was helping Jho Low suggests that Najib is absolutely guilty.
With the Court of Appeal’s open insult, the first woman Chief Justice’s seeming independence, Roger Ng’s damaging revelations, rejection of a request for Queen Counsel, and Apandi’s idiocy in representing Jho Low at such crucial time, King Sultan Abdullah would certainly look like an incredible corrupt monarch if he grants a royal pardon for Najib.
Desperate time calls for desperate measures. In his last effort to delay the Federal Court from its proceeding next month, which would most likely see a spectacular jailing of Najib, the former prime minister has sacked his lawyer Shafee and appointed a new legal team. Immediately after the appointment of law firm Zaid Ibrahim Suffian TH Liew & Partners, the new lawyers have requested for a postponement.
The change of Najib’s defence team at the last minute was not only a disgusting delay tactic, but also an insult to the judiciary system. The goal is to drag for as long as possible so that the next 15th General Election could be held before the Federal Court’s final verdict. If Najib’s political party UMNO could win big, he would bully the judiciary or bulldoze the King to free him.
Now, it makes perfect sense why Zaid Ibrahim said he hopes the corrupt UMNO-led Barisan Nasional coalition wins the next election. Like the fake activist-lawyer “Art Harun” Azhar Azizan Harun, Zaid similarly wants to join the corrupt government. And the first step to enjoy free flow of projects and contracts is to make sure Najib Razak wins the final appeal.
At a time when an ordinary woman, Suhaini Mohd, is brave enough to face the court without resorting to delay tactics for stealing two packets of Milo worth RM74, it’s incredibly shameful that a Malaysian leader like Najib is trying every trick to delay and hide. From calling sick due to sore eyes to his lawyer being bitten by his own dogs, the world is laughing at the UMNO-Malay leader.
The self-proclaimed Bugis warrior appears to be nothing but a pathetic coward worse than the mother of four who stole Milo in order to feed her children. While the woman was handcuffed and treated like a hardcore criminal, Najib shamelessly walks around and pretends as if he is innocent – with police escorts thrown in. If Najib is indeed innocent, why has he kept delaying his trials from the beginning? – Finance Twitter