KUALA LUMPUR (July 28): The defence for former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was found guilty of all seven charges at the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial today, has made an application for mitigation in the case to be put off until next Monday.
Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah applied for a delay of the mitigation for Najib's sentencing citing the Courts of Judicature Act, which he claimed stipulates a stay of conviction and sentence.
However, appointed prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram said that the prosecution was ready for sentencing to be carried out as early as possible.
He also cited a law which states that the sentencing should be passed immediately.
Shafee clarified that the defence was not seeking a stay but merely a deferment to the mitigation of sentence until next Monday, when they will be better prepared.
He cited "the Anwar case" for which a deferment was purportedly granted twice.
Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said that he needed case laws to refer to Shafee's request, but Shafee said there were no reported cases, maybe only some newspaper cuttings.
Shafee further added that Najib's bail in this case is RM1 million, whereas the total bail Najib has paid for other cases is RM6 million.
"On top of that, he has to pay tax to LHDN (Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia) to the amount of RM1.69 billion," he said.
Shafee also said that the bail should not be increased.
Justice Nazlan told Shafee that this request was unusual.
"I don't want to create a precedent," said the judge.
Justice Nazlan asked the prosecution whether they had come across a stay of a judgement in other cases.
Shafee said "we thought this is common ground" but Justice Nazlan replied that this was not common for the prosecution.
Najib was found guilty of all seven charges of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in relation to RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.
The former premier is the most senior member of the executive branch of the previous Barisan Nasional government to be charged in court.
Najib was slapped with three criminal breach of trust charges as a public servant and agent of the government, namely the prime minister, finance minister, and SRC International adviser emeritus, he misappropriated RM27 million and RM5 million in December 2014, and another RM10 million in February 2015.
The funds were part of two loans from the Retirement Fund, Inc (KWAP) to SRC worth a total of RM4 billion.
The three charges were made under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years, whipping and a fine upon conviction.
Meanwhile, he was also charged with one count of abusing his power. Najib, as prime minister and finance minister, had used his position to commit bribery involving RM42 million through his participation or involvement in the decision to provide government guarantees for the KWAP loans to SRC.
He was charged with committing the offence at the Prime Minister's Office, Precinct 1, Putrajaya, Federal Territory of Putrajaya, between Aug 17, 2011 and Feb 8, 2012, under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.
Under Section 24 of the Act, he faces 20 years' imprisonment, and a fine of not less than five times the amount or value of the bribe, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
For money laundering, Najib — who is also Pekan member of Parliament — was charged with receiving RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million from illegal proceeds into his two AmIslamic Bank Bhd accounts, bearing the numbers 2112022011880 and 2112022011906.
He was accused of committing the offences at AmBank, 55, Jalan Raja Chulan here, between Dec 26, 2014 and Feb 10, 2015.
The charge under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, sees the politician facing up to 15 years in jail and a fine of RM5 million, or five times the amount, whichever is higher, for each charge.
The Edge is covering the trial live here.
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