PUTRAJAYA – Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat yesterday once again denied Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s senior lawyer’s request to postpone the final appeal proceedings to overturn the former prime minister’s conviction and guilty sentence.
Hisyam Teh Poh Teik applied for an adjournment to Thursday next week before the appeal proceedings concluded, but was rejected by the court.
Immediately after Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram finished his oral argument, Hisyam rose again to ask for an adjournment until Thursday next week.
According to him, he has to attend another case involving UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the Kuala Lumpur High Court next week, but this plea was not accepted by Tengku Maimun and informed that the proceedings will continue on Tuesday .
Hisham then said that he would not present any arguments either verbally or in writing.
Tengku Maimun said: Hisyam does not have to submit a written argument, he can only argue verbally.
“We’re looking forward to this Tuesday,” he said.
Stating that the court will not allow any delay, Tengku Maimun said the defense team has three days to prepare their case arguments.
“It is your liberty to present an argument or else, you have three days to prepare. Do not say that you are not prepared to submit arguments on the 94 grounds in your appeal petition,” he said.
Previously, the main appeal hearing involving MP Pekan had been set for August 15-16, but on August 15-16, the court heard the defense’s appeal to include new evidence and Hisyam’s request to recuse himself first.
Earlier, in his two-day oral argument (Aug 18 and 19), Sithambaram addressed Najib’s role as prime minister, finance minister and adviser emeritus of SRC International Sdn Bhd.
He then mentioned that the former prime minister did not question the entry of 42 million lei into the two personal accounts, but used it for personal purposes.
Sithambaram then said: Trial judge (now Court of Appeal judge) Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali did no wrong in convicting Najib of the seven charges related to the SRC International fund on 28 July 2020.
Mohd Nazlan sentenced Najib to 10 years in prison for each of three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and each of three counts of money laundering and 12 years in prison and a fine of Sh210 million RM (in default of payment, five years in prison) on the charge of abuse of office.
In December last year, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision and dismissed Najib’s appeal to overturn the conviction and jail term and fine.
His trial will continue on Tuesday.