SRC appeal: Najib’s lawyer asks for ‘3 to 4 months’ extension
Published on: Tuesday, August 16, 2022
By: FMT, Ho Kit Yen
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Lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik says the request to postpone the case was made in good faith.
PUTRAJAYA: Najib Razak’s lawyers have requested the Federal Court to postpone his SRC International appeal for “three to four months”, stressing that the new defence team only took over the case less than one month ago.

Lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik told the court that his team was appointed on July 21 and were given “voluminous” appeal records, adding that they would need “sufficient time to prepare” and argue their case.

“I request for time to argue the main appeal,” said Hisyam, affirming that this request for time was made in good faith.

He said the SRC appeal “is no ordinary case” and “there are strong points of law to argue at the main appeal”.

“If the court allows me three to four months, this means that the appeal will be heard one year after the Court of Appeal’s decision, which is not too long in current circumstances,” he said.

Ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram said the prosecution would leave it to the court to decide if it wanted to give the lawyers more time.

Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat then said the panel will deliberate the lawyers’ request.

The hearing has been adjourned to later this afternoon when the panel is expected to announce its decision.

Former prime minister Najib was previously represented by the firm of Shafee & Co, with Shafee Abdullah acting as lead counsel.

In May, the Federal Court notified parties that the appeal was fixed for hearing for 10 days between Aug 15 and 26.

On July 26, law firm Zaid Ibrahim Suffian TH Liew & Partners notified the apex court of its appointment as solicitors and that of Hisyam Teh as lead counsel. The firm immediately requested a postponement of the hearing, which was rejected by the court.

At case management on July 29, the court told both the prosecution and defence teams that the appeal will proceed as scheduled but will be preceded by the motions filed by Najib which were disposed of yesterday and today.

In July 2020, Najib was convicted on seven charges of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust over SRC International funds amounting to RM42 million. His conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Dec 8 last year.

The appellate court also upheld Najib’s 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine. However, Najib was released on bail pending his final appeal before the Federal Court.

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