There S Underlying Reason Nazlan Brought In To Hear Src Case Najib
Najib Abdul Razak noted that it was “peculiar” that the prosecution conceded that a judge initially set to hear the RM42 million SRC International corruption case against him had a brother who was an Umno member.
The former prime minister said this is because the prosecution, at the same time, disputed his defence team’s contention that the initial trial judge was transferred out due to that reason.
In his affidavit in reply to the prosecution’s objection against his bid to nullify his conviction and sentencing in the RM42 million SRC case, Najib contended that there was an “underlying reason” that Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali was brought in to hear the case.
The former premier was referring to judge Mohd Sofian Abd Razak, who in 2018 was transferred out of the SRC case and replaced with Mohd Nazlan.
It was reported then that the transfer was made, following concerns raised by the Malaysian Bar’s then president George Varughese over Sofian’s brother Mohd Sofi Razak, who was then Umno Pahang state exco.
“By acknowledging that the issue of justice Sofian’s brother (being an Umno and Pahang Exco member) was raised by the previous Malaysian Bar president surely is a tacit recognition by the respondent (prosecution) of the true reason why justice Sofian was transferred out and replaced by justice Nazlan, rather unceremoniously, to hear this SRC trial in the High Court.
“I further state that the underlying reason why justice Nazlan was placed, in replacement of justice Sofian to hear this matter, is highly relevant, and this shall be singularly addressed by my senior counsel at the hearing,” Najib contended in the filing today sighted by Malaysiakini.
Court of Appeal judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd GhazaliLast month at the Federal Court, the former finance minister filed the bid to nullify the SRC trial due to an alleged conflict of interest in having Nazlan as the trial judge.
Nazlan has since been elevated to the Court of Appeal.
Later on June 29, the prosecution filed its affidavit in objection against the nullification bid, contending that Nazlan’s previous role as general counsel with Maybank has no relevance to the case of the RM42 million of SRC funds that allegedly went into the ex-premier’s account.
The Federal Court has set 10 days next month to hear Najib’s final SRC appeal to quash his guilty verdict over seven charges of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering, as well as a sentence of 12 years in jail and RM210 million fine.
On July 28, 2020, then High Court judge Nazlan convicted Najib on one count of abuse of position as the then premier, three counts of criminal breach of trust and three counts of money laundering involving RM42 million of funds from SRC.
The judge then sentenced the accused to 12 years in jail and RM210 million fine.
However, the lower court allowed Najib’s application for a stay of execution of the sentences pending disposal of the appeal.
On Dec 8 last year, the Court of Appeal dismissed Najib’s appeal to overturn the lower court’s decision. - Mkini
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