Najib Abdul Razak is seeking to appoint a Queen’s Counsel from the United Kingdom to act on his behalf in his appeal to quash his conviction in the RM42 million SRC International corruption case.
The former prime minister’s legal team informed the apex court of this during case management of his appeal before the court’s registry this morning.
Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul, who appeared for the prosecution, confirmed that defence lawyers from law firm Shafee and Co conveyed this to the Federal Court today.
The DPP said that, as a result, the apex court has yet to fix a date to hear Najib’s appeal to quash his conviction, as well as 12-year jail term and RM210 million fine, for one count of abuse of power, three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT), and three counts of money laundering involving RM42 million of funds from SRC.
“The main appeal has no date fixed yet, as Shafee & Co will write to FC (Federal Court) by tomorrow on their intention to apply for a Queen's Counsel from the UK to attend and argue this appeal,” Ashrof told the media today.
The DPP added that the Federal Court Registry has also fixed this Friday (Jan 28) for further case management of the matter.
The title of Queen’s Counsel is awarded by the Queen of the UK to those who demonstrated particular skill and expertise in conducting advocacy in court.
Appeal to adduce fresh evidence
Meanwhile, following today’s case management, the Federal Court also fixed two days from March 15 to hear Najib’s other appeal - to adduce fresh evidence in the SRC corruption case.
Previously, it was reported that Najib was mulling whether to apply for the Federal Court to first hear the fresh evidence appeal, as the outcome from the appeal may have critical bearing on the main SRC appeal.
Ashrof today confirmed the fresh evidence appeal hearing dates of March 15 and 16, as set by the Federal Court during case management today.
“For the Federal Court SRC case management today, the hearing dates are fixed for appeal on additional evidence which will be on 15 and 16 March 2022,” the DPP said.
Najib at present has two appeals before the Federal Court, one is to quash his conviction as well as 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine in the main SRC corruption case, and the other is over his bid to adduce fresh evidence in the main appeal.
On Dec 7 last year, the Court of Appeal dismissed his application to adduce fresh evidence in his appeal against the RM42 million SRC graft case.
The next day (Dec 8), the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal to overturn the guilty verdict and sentencing in the SRC case.
Previously a subsidiary of 1MDB, SRC later became fully owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated.
Besides being former prime minister, Najib also used to be finance minister, SRC’s adviser emeritus, and chairperson of 1MDB’s board of advisers.