PUTRAJAYA, March 12 ― A Court of Appeal hearing on Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s seven criminal charges relating to SRC International Sdn Bhd funds totalling RM42 million today has been pushed to Friday due to a fracture suffered by the former prime minister’s counsel.
Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told appellate judges Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof, Datuk Lau Bee Lan and Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang that he recently broke his wrist after playing with his pet dog and was unable to continue with his argument for the rest of today.
“My pet dog jumped on me and I fell. I am now in pain and I need to seek immediate medical attention later through an X-ray scan,” he said while gesturing to his left wrist.
He added that it was the first time he had suffered a broken bone and pleaded to delay his submission.
Today was the second day of hearing on the four appeals linked to Najib’s SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption trial that had been meant to start on February 12, following the stay granted by Court of Appeal on February 11.
Attorney General Tommy Thomas objected, saying his office is under public pressure for Najib’s trial to begin soonest possible.
“Everyone wants the trial to start as early as tomorrow. There is an enormous pressure on the prosecution team...in fact a global pressure on us for the trial to start.
“I understand the counsel has a problem but on the other hand we are under scrutiny why the trial hasn’t begin,” Thomas told the court.
Muhammad Shafee suggested the hearing resume on Friday as Thomas was unavailable on Thursday.
Zabariah who led the three-member bench agreed to the Friday hearing date.
“We have decided on Friday. I hope the appellant is available as we have to finish (submission) by morning itself because I have matters to attend to in the noon.
“Hearing is now set for 8.30am and the defence will submit first,” she said.
After obtaining leave from court, Muhammad Shafee then gestured with his wrist to Najib who was seated near the docks as he exited the court room.
Donning a dark blue suit, Najib was accompanied by his son Mohd Norashman Najib during the hearing which began yesterday.
The Court of Appeal was scheduled to hear the appeals by Najib on his application for a gag order to prohibit the media from discussing the merits of his criminal cases; his application for the recovery of documents and statements; withdrawal of certificate of transfer and his challenge on the appointment of lawyer Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah as the lead prosecutor in his seven charges pertaining to SRC International.