I Changed My Defence Team After Consulting Singaporean Lawyers And Senior Advocates From India Najib
The former prime minister expressed confidence that the new team would bring different perspectives to his defence, especially on the conflict of interest accusations.- NSTP/EIZAIRI SHAMSUDINKUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he decided to change lawyers to handle his SRC International appeal at the Federal Court after he consulted lawyers in Singapore and senior advocates from India.
Another factor, he said, which led to his decision to replace Messrs Shafee and Co from handling his final bid to overturn his conviction was after Queen's Counsel Jonathan Laidlaw was not admitted to appear to fight his case.
In a statement released this evening, Najib said he wished to confirm the appointment of Messrs Zaid Ibrahim, Suflan, T H Liew & Partners (ZIST) as solicitors for his SRC appeal together with senior lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik as the lead counsel.
The former prime minister expressed confidence that the new team would bring different perspectives to his defence, especially on the conflict of interest accusations.
"The charge of conflict of interest is a serious one both for the judge and the litigants. The application is filed in court in that regard.
-ADVERTISEMENT-Ads by "I would not want to comment on the issue as the matter is now pending before the Federal Court," he said.
Najib, however, added that his previous lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah would continue to handle all his other cases that are before the courts.
He expressed his support and appreciation to the entire legal team for their continuing commitment and effort in ensuring he is given a fair trial.
The former Umno president then went on to state that it was unfair for some media to conclude or report that he had fallen out with Shafee by running headlines which said he had evicted or ditched Messrs Shafee and Co..
It was earlier reported that Najib had resorted to replacing his long time counsel Shafee with Zaid's firm to handle his final appeal at the Federal Court.
Shafee said he received a letter from Najib about 5pm yesterday informing him that he had been discharged from representing the Pekan Member of Parliament and former Umno president in the appeal proceedings.
He notified the court that his firm would be handing over all documents concerning the case to ZIST immediately.
Shafee has all this while led Najib's defence team in the SRC International case right from the time he was charged.
In 2020, Najib was convicted of all seven charges of power abuse, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in relation to RM42 million of SRC International funds.
High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali had sentenced him to 12 years jail and RM210 million fine.
Since then, Najib has lost in his bid to overturn the conviction and sentence at the Court of Appeal and also failed in his attempts to introduce fresh evidence and also appoint a Queen's Counsel to represent him.
Immediately after news of the new lawyers' appointment, Najib's new defence team said they would be seeking an adjournment to the Aug 15 to 26 dates that have been fixed for the hearing of their client's appeal at the Federal Court. - NST
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