Najib's SRC case: Prosecution tells of missing witnesses and fulfilling requirements

-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (March 12): The prosecution in prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's SRC International Sdn Bhd case, which involves RM42 million, informed the Court of Appeal today that they had complied with pre-trial requirements by giving all documents which they intend to use in proving its case against the ex-premier.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram said the prosecution had already provided 31 volumes of documents with 6,500 pages which would be used in the trial.

"As far as the prosecution is concerned, we have fulfilled the requirements under Section 51A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) as to the pre-trial requirements under the section to give the defence what the prosecution intends to use in the trial.

"We are not at the trial but at the pre-trial stage. It was not necessary for the defence to make such a request," Sithambaram said. 

He said that if something arises during the trial and the defence wants more documents, they can apply under section 51A of CPC.

Sithambaram, who is a member of the criminal law division of The Malaysian Bar, said the country has a certain set of codified laws which have to be followed.

"If the courts do not follow the law, it would go haywire, and similarly, if the country does not follow, it would go haywire," he said.

Sithambaram, who appeared with Attorney General Tommy Thomas, said although some witnesses were interviewed under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (MACC Act) and Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA), the prosecution could not hand all documents over.

"This would be akin to the prosecution handing over the whole investigation papers of the SRC International case to the defence and this is not proper. If we are granting (more documents to the defence), it would have severe consequences to the prosecution," Sithambaram said.

Sithambaram, who is also a known as a criminal lawyer, pointed out that he, along with former attorney general Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, had appeared in the committee stage to draft Section 30 of the MACC Act. Sithambaram said they knew that the drafting was not done in bad faith.

Yesterday, Najib's counsel Havinderjit Singh said Section 30 of the MACC Act and Section 40 of the AMLA are non obstentive, which means the prosecution can tender documents it did not give the defence, for them to be admitted to court.

However, Sithambaram said this would be subject to the rules of admissability.

He said if the prosecution were to handover everything, including witness statements, it may result in tampering of witnesses.

He pointed out that two key witnesses are missing in this SRC International case, and by handing more documents, it would upset the prosecution's case.

"If in the future, the investigation papers are to be handed to the defence, it would open the floodgates as to how the prosecutions are conducted in this country," he said.

Meanwhile, Havinderjit, in reply, said the defence does not want all the documents held by the prosecution, including the investigation papers, but only the statements taken under the MACC Act and AMLA.

"This would not impede the powers of the prosecution to prosecute," he said. 

The hearing before the bench led by Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof along with Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Lau Bee Lan, continues on Friday (March 15).