Not a good sign as lead judge in Najib’s appeal tells lawyer to ‘stop going round and round’

Najib was convicted of abusing his power as the prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC’s RM4 billion loan from the Pensioners Retirement Fund Inc. (KWAP). Source (pic): TTF Files

ڤتاندا كورڠ باءيق اڤابيلا كتوا حاكيم كيس رايوان نجيب بريتاهو ڤڬوام ‘برهنتي اولڠ چريتا’

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TTF: Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s appeal in the SRC International case does not seem to be going too well given that the lead judge hearing the case lectured Najib’s lawyer to “stop going round and round repeating the same points” even though the trial is coming to an end.

NST: “You are just going round and round. We are hearing it again and again.

“Don’t keep telling us what we have heard already,” Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil said after lawyer Harvinderjit Singh said he needed more time to present his closing submissions, even as the hearing entered its 14th day.

Earlier, Harvinderjit argued that Najib had been convicted based on documents that could not even be proven to be authentic.

He told the judges that technology was so advanced these days that anyone could copy signatures and reproduce them on documents.


The lead judge hearing Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s appeal in the SRC International case did not hold back his exasperation with the former prime minister’s lawyer by lecturing him to stop going round and round repeating the same points.

“You are just going round and round. We are hearing it again and again.




“Don’t keep telling us what we have heard already,” Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil said after lawyer Harvinderjit Singh said he needed more time to present his closing submissions, even as the hearing entered its 14th day.

Harvinderjit had earlier in the morning handed a 94-page talking points to submit on disputed documents which had been used as evidence during Najib’s trial, which led to the latter’s conviction.

The appeal hearing, which started on April 5, was supposed to end today with the defence finishing its closing submissions.

However, the bench of three judges were informed the defence needed more time with Harvinderjit to continue submitting before lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah takes over again to wrap up their case.

At this point lead prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram stood up and said the defence team was presenting its arguments as though they were conducting a whole new trial in the Court of Appeal.

“This is just going on and on…it’s as though we are going through a whole new trial here,” he said.

Karim agreed with Sithambaram and urged the defence to focus on raising the most substantive issues to support their case.

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“This has all been submitted. All these arguments are already done.

“We will take the submission as read unless you have something new to tell us,” he said, referring to the 94-page talking points which Harvinderjit was reading from.

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The lawyer went on to explain why he was taking time to submit on the same points but the judge again reminded him that there was no point in repeating the same things.

“We are listening…listening.

“We are fully aware of all that…but make it clear so we can see it clearly. Kalau tak celaru kita orang (otherwise we will become confused),” he said.

Karim later said it was best for Harvinderjit to stop for the day as the clock edged closer to 4pm.

He also allowed an additional day for the defence to wrap up its submissions, before fixing May 6 for continuation of hearing.

“We started before puasa and we will end before Hari Raya,” he said in jest, before Sithambaram chipped in and said he hoped the defence would keep their word an end on May 6.

“If the court doesn’t control them, they will go on until Hari Raya Haji,” he said tongue in cheek.

Earlier, Harvinderjit argued that Najib had been convicted based on documents that could not even be proven to be authentic.

He told the judges that technology was so advanced these days that anyone could copy signatures and reproduce them on documents.

“Even I can find Your Lordships signatures from somewhere, put it on some document and show it to you after lunch,” he said while making his point on why some disputed documents with Najib’s signature on them should never have been considered as evidence by the trial judge who convicted him.

Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, he said, had failed to consider all such deficiencies involving the disputed documents before convicting and sentencing Najib to 12 years’ jail and imposing RM210 million fine on the former Umno president in July last year.

Focusing his arguments on the disputed documents which had been seized by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) and tendered as evidence by the prosecution during the trial, Harvinderjit said the authenticity of the documents had never been proven and should therefore have been inadmissible as evidence.

He argued that the defence had always objected to the admissibility of the documents as the makers and original copies were never produced.

However, he said these were still marked as evidence by the prosecution through witnesses who had either seen, or come into possession of the disputed documents.

“No originals of the documents were produced. None of the witnesses had personal knowledge of the contents and therefore should have remained as hearsay.

“But yet the trial judge in his grounds of judgment, found that the disputed documents were proven by circumstantial evidence,” he said.

He argued that as a whole, the favourable inference that ought to have been drawn was that a disputed document which contained Najib’s signature was forged, and without his knowledge or involvement.

Earlier, Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah rebutted allegations that his client, who was also the then Finance Minister and Adviser Emeritus of SRC, held an iron grip on the former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) subsidiary company.

He said Najib was never a director or a shadow director of SRC, and therefore should not have been found guilty of committing criminal breach of trust (CBT).

The prosecution has all this while maintained that the running of SRC was a one-man show by Najib as he had sidelined the board of directors, micro managing the company as a shadow director.

Najib was convicted of abusing his power as the prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC’s RM4 billion loan from the Pensioners Retirement Fund Inc. (KWAP).

He was also found guilty of three counts of CBT and three money laundering charges in relation to RM42 million of SRC funds.

Source:

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