The High Court refused Najib’s defence request to postpone the case, stating that all parties had been made aware since April that the appeals process had been fixed for hearing from 15 to 26 August.
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Former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak defence team’s appeal for an extension to postpone his final bid to clear his name over the SRC International scandal was denied by the Federal Court today.
According to Free Malaysia Today, Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat – who led a panel of five judges in Najib’s final plea to overturn the 12 years jail time and a fine of RM210 million sentence imposed upon him by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on 28 July 2020 – stated that the appeal must continue as scheduled.
“We will start the appeal (hearing) on Thursday,” she was quoted as saying by the news portal.
Najib’s lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik had earlier sought an extension of up to four months to the Federal Court, citing that he needed more time to prepare for the case as the defence team had just taken over the case less than a month ago.
However, Tengku Maimun said that all parties had been made aware since April that the appeals process had been fixed for hearing from 15 to 26 August.
She also pointed out that the previous request to adjourn Najib’s case was denied by the court registrar during the pre-trial case management.
She said that Najib was well aware of the dates that has been fixed for the hearing when he decided to replace his former solicitors Shafee & Co with Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners.
“This is his right to do so, but he cannot, after having made that decision, turn around and say that his new lawyers are not ready to proceed with the hearing of the appeals.
“The new lawyers, too, having accepted the brief, are not entitled to say they need more time to prepare, knowing fully well that the dates had been fixed well in advance,” Tengku Maimun added.
She also stressed that the Federal Court had made time for Najib’s case to be heard which means other cases had to wait for their turns.
“Justice delayed, in this case, is also justice denied to other accused persons,” she said.
Najib had been found guilty of seven charges of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust over SRC funds amounting to RM42 million by the Kuala Lumpur High Court in July 2020.
His conviction was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal on 8 December last year.
He is currently out on bail pending his final appeal before the Federal Court.