Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the former prime minister, expressed outrage over the Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold his conviction, claiming that he was not given a fair trial.

Najib, who addressed from the dock, also claimed that he was denied the chance to discuss the reasons for his need to ask for an adjournment in his SRC appeal case.

“Even though it is believed that the accused is the most important person in a criminal court, I feel mistreated and that I did not receive a fair trial.

“I beg for forgiveness if my words have offended anyone; they are just what I had to say.

“That’s exactly how I feel. It is the worst sensation to realise that the legal system’s power is unfairly being used against me as an appellant in the last stages of the case, he said Tuesday.

According to Najib, there has never been a situation in which the attorney representing a party in an appeal trial was unable to resign.

In contrast to prior cases where the courts permitted adjournments up to 70 times, the Pekan MP also stated that this was the first occasion a four-month adjournment was asked.

“I am accountable for choices involving my representation. However, I honestly believed they were wise choices at the time based on the advise of my solicitors and outside counsel.

Najib said, “Fair trial and the rule of law seem to me illusive; it seems to be adversely interpreted against me by this honourable court if an appellant similarly placed in my position cannot rely on his lawyers’ advice and is penalised instead.

He said that throughout the preceding four years, his attorneys at Shafee & Co. had done a good job of representing him.

He lost both his trial and appeal for the SRC International case despite their “valiant” efforts, while he claimed the loss was not the result of a weak defence.

With this, Najib claimed that a new viewpoint on the situation was required, as well as the introduction of fresh concepts for his last appeal in the matter.

His first strategy was for Shafee & Co. attorneys Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah and Harvinder Singh Sidhu to collaborate with Queen’s Counsel (QC) Jonathan Laidlaw.

Najib stated, “The QC arrived with the highest recommendations and I was certain that he would be an asset to the team.

He also mentioned that Laidlaw’s expenses had been paid and that the QC had prepared for the hearing of the appeal on August 15.

This should show the court that I was serious about allowing the appeal to proceed on August 15, he stated.

Najib bemoaned the High Court’s decision to deny the QC’s request to represent him on July 21.

I was discouraged because this essentially put a stop to the QC’s preparation because the weeks he had set aside for the appeal would be lost, forcing him to reschedule his already packed schedule, he added.

After the QC was rejected, Najib claimed that Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who had previously contacted him, suggested using his Singaporean partner Niru Pillai to bring in legal competence from India.

Zaid and Niru told me that this was the only way they could have time to plan their appeal since, according to custom and tradition, the court would give another team more time to get ready.

I consented to this line of action based on their legal counsel,” he stated.

Najib emphasised that his goal was not to stall the legal procedure but rather because Laidlaw’s request to defend him had been met with heavy opposition from the prosecution and the Bar Council, which resulted in the rejection of his request for QC less than a month before the appeal.

Any team bringing in new ideas would require time to examine the extensive appeal, written submissions, and application record.

“I’m not ashamed to admit that I was in a desperate situation, just like any litigant in my shoes.

I believed that what I chose would improve my prospects of raising the calibre of arguments presented in the appeal, he added.

Before the court’s ruling, Najib spoke to his supporters and declared that he had used every possible means to request that the case be postponed.

He remarked as he stood in front of the Palace of Justice, “Other cases were allowed adjournment, but not mine.

He said, “My counsels were not given time to prepare,” asking for more support from his followers and professing his regret if he were to lose the appeal.

His supporters greeted the brief speech with cries and yells of “Zalim! (Cruel!) Hidup Bossku!”

Najib's Supporters Were Upset After Receiving The Bad News. Picture Sourced From The Star News

On July 28, 2020, the Kuala Lumpur High Court convicted Najib guilty of seven counts of criminal breach of trust, money laundering, and abuse of position in the RM42 million SRC International case. The court sentenced him to a total of 12 years in prison and a total punishment of RM210 million.

Recent Posts