PUTRAJAYA, April 1 – The Federal Court ruled that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak himself was actually the cause of his appeal proceedings for the case involving SRC International Sdn Bhd funds not being heard by the previous panel of judges. Federal Court Judge Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, who read out the 4-1 majority judgment, rejected the former prime minister’s application to review the previous Federal Court panel’s decision. Which upheld the conviction and 12-year prison sentence and fine for misappropriating SRC International funds amounting to RM42 million.

There is no denial of the applicant’s (Najib’s) rights and no violation of justice in the case,” he said. The majority decision was agreed by Federal Court judges Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Nordin Hassan and Court of Appeal judge Datuk Abu Bakar Jais. Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli who chaired the panel of five judges made the opposite decision. In his judgement, Vernon said that it was Najib’s own lawyer who refused to make oral submissions since the beginning of the appeal proceedings last year.

Even though Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik’s lawyer was allowed to do so by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat who led the previous panel of judges who rejected the appeal. . Touching on the adjournment of Najib’s appeal raised by the defence, Ong said the court had absolute discretion to allow or not any adjournment and the previous panel had used their discretion wisely. Therefore, there is no merit in reviewing the decision,” the judge said.

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