Federal Court fixes Aug 15 to 26 for Najib’s final appeal against SRC jail sentence and RM210m fine

Najib is appealing his conviction and sentences in the Federal Court after the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the High Court's verdict on Dec 8 last year. (Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge)

Najib is appealing his conviction and sentences in the Federal Court after the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the High Court's verdict on Dec 8 last year. (Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge)

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PUTRAJAYA (May 9): The Federal Court has fixed Aug 15 to 26 this year to hear former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s final bid to overturn his 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine after having been found guilty of misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

A notice signed by the apex court's deputy registrar Hafizullaah Omar was sighted by theedgemarkets.com, confirming the trial dates. 

A member of Najib’s legal team confirmed with theedgemarkets.com that they had received the notice. It is learned that the notice was sent to both the defence and the prosecution. 

Written submissions are to be filed by July 31, according to the document. 

This is Najib’s final attempt to convince the court that he was not guilty in using his power as the then prime minister and finance minister to enrich himself with RM42 million, which ended up in his personal accounts. 

If the apex court upholds the judgements of the High Court which convicted him and the Court of Appeal which upheld the High Court conviction, then Najib will have to serve prison time and pay his fine. 

Previously on April 25, Najib filed his petition for appeal, citing 94 grounds of appeal. 

Among them, he said that the Court of Appeal’s opinion that High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali — who had found Najib guilty in the High Court — had correctly analysed and evaluated evidence in concluding the existence of Najib’s interest in SRC was a wrong interpretation. 

The petition also claimed that the Court of Appeal and the High Court had made an error in finding that Najib had used SRC funds for his personal benefit as well as establishing his personal interest in SRC.

“The Court of Appeal erred in fact and/or in law in rejecting the appellant’s case that the decisions taken by the Cabinet and the appellant in granting the government guarantees were on the basis of national interest,” it read.

The crux of the SRC case is that Najib had used his authority as the then prime minister and finance minister to secure RM4 billion in loans from Retirement Fund (Incorporated) (KWAP) for SRC.

Najib had testified on the stand in his defence in the High Court that his consent to raise RM4 billion from the KWAP loans was for “national interest”.

It was previously reported that about RM3.6 billion out of the RM4 billion loans from KWAP was transferred out from SRC to a financial institution in Switzerland as a fixed deposit. The fixed deposit was later frozen by the Swiss authorities.

Meanwhile, RM42 million from the KWAP loans had been transferred into Najib’s personal bank accounts.

Najib’s legal team is refuting the Court of Appeal and High Court judgements that he was a “shadow director” of SRC, and hence a director within the meaning of Section 402A of the Penal Code.

His lawyers noted that both courts had made an error in finding that although there was a lack of direct or specific evidence to show that Najib gave instructions for any transfer of money, there was nevertheless sufficient evidence to infer that he had been involved and effected the misappropriation.

They stated that the courts were also wrong in finding that Najib had used the RM42 million for his own use and personal benefit, including political purposes, among others.

Najib was found guilty of abusing his power with regard to the RM4 billion loans given by KWAP between August 2011 and March 2012 to SRC. He was sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million in default of five more years of imprisonment.

He was also convicted of three counts each of criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving RM42 million of SRC funds being deposited into his accounts between Dec 26, 2014 and Feb 10, 2015. For each of these six offences, the Pekan Member of Parliament and former Umno president was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

As the court ordered the jail sentences to run concurrently, Najib would spend 12 years in jail.

He is appealing his conviction and sentences in the Federal Court after the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the High Court's verdict on Dec 8 last year.

Surin Murugiah