PUTRAJAYA, Aug 18 — After the Federal Court today dismissed his lead counsel’s application for discharge, Datuk Seri Najib Razak lamented that he is now effectively “defenceless” in his final appeal against his conviction of misappropriating funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd.
Stating that his right to life, liberty and a fair hearing was at stake, Najib said he wished to record his objections “in the strongest of terms” in relation to the ongoing appeal.
“As you know, my counsels have indicated they are unwilling to continue as they have very limited time to prepare.
“Unfortunately, the court did not allow them to be discharged and that includes my team of solicitors,” he told reporters at the Palace of Justice here.
Citing the Federal Court’s ruling in denying his counsel an application to discharge themselves, Najib said his defence could not be put across during proceedings and only the prosecution was given the opportunity to present their case.
“In such a high-profile case, it is totally unprecedented, in a criminal case, for the defence is left without any counsel. This is a very serious matter and I hope that the court will take that into account and make remedial measures at some point in time.
“I am now left without, in effect, in reality, a defence counsel,” he said.
Stating that it was most unfortunate he would not be able to present his defence, Najib insisted that he possesses a very strong and credible defence that Hisyam, if given reasonable time, would be able to use in his favour.
“Nevertheless, I do pray and I do hope for a fair trial and for justice to prevail,” Najib added.
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