Report: Zaid’s law firm says Sithambaram’s statement to apex court ‘slandered’ them

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — The law firm which briefly acted as solicitors for former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in his SRC International corruption appeal called on ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram to clarify a statement he made in court about them.

Online news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported that law firm Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners wrote to the Federal Court on Thursday that the statement made against them by Sithambaram was “incorrect and factually untrue.”

A day before, Sithambaram told a Federal Court panel hearing Najib’s bid to have the case reviewed that “the previous solicitors took over the case with the sole purpose of asking for an adjournment.”

“(Sithambaram) has no evidence to justify making the statement in court,” according to the letter sighted by FMT.

In the letter, the law firm said it amounted to “slander” on the firm’s lawyers as advocates and solicitors and as officers of the court.

“Moreover, the learned prosecutor never inquired from us what the true position was prior to making his slanderous statement,” the law firm added.

The firm also said that Najib appointed led counsel at that time, Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik did not have anything to do with them.

“Hisham Teh did not take instructions from us, and was not retained by us.”

However, they did work together to prepare for the hearing of Najib’s application to adduce fresh evidence, which the Federal Court rejected on August 16.

When the court rejected Hisyam’s application to postpone the appeal proper on Aug 16, and again two days later, Hisyam applied to be discharged as counsel.

“The learned judges of the Federal Court did not direct or inquire with (the firm’s lawyers) Zaid Ibrahim, Liew Teck Huat or Rueben Mathiavaranam whether they would be making submissions in place of counsel Hisyam Teh,” the letter, which the three lawyers jointly signed, said.

“Our firm was discharged by Najib the following day (and) our involvement ended there.”

Najib is seeking a review of the Federal Court’s decision to reject his application to adduce fresh evidence relating to the High Court judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

He is also seeking a review of the court’s decision to dismiss his bid to postpone his appeal hearing as well as the decision to recuse Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun.

The former prime minister was found guilty of abuse of power in relation to a RM4 billion loan given by Retirement Fund (Inc) (KWAP) to SRC between August 2011 and March 2012.

He was also convicted of criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving RM42 million of SRC funds between December 26, 2014 and February 10, 2015.