SRC trial: Prosecution retracts asking Najib to apologise over Facebook comments

Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur August 9, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur August 9, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — The prosecution today withdrew their formal application that had sought for the High Court to direct Datuk Seri Najib Razak to apologise for posting comments on Facebook page regarding his ongoing corruption trial.

The prosecution’s decision was announced before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali by ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram at the conclusion of Najib’s RM42million SRC International Sdn Bhd trial proceedings today.

“We wish to inform the court that the prosecution won’t be proceeding with the contempt application and has thus decided to withdraw the said application,” said Sithambaram.

Najib’s lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, in response, said the decision by the prosecution was good news to his team.

“Well, this is good news, and as a result of the withdrawal of the application, the striking out application which we intended to submit now becomes unnecessary.

“I only wish I would have been told earlier, but still, this is good news,” said Shafee.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah speaks to reporters at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya August 5, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah speaks to reporters at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya August 5, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Mohd Nazlan then acknowledged the prosecution’s withdrawal, and advised Najib to refer to his lawyers first before making future comments on the evidence and testimonies presented during the trial.

“Posting and commenting on evidence represented in court, especially by the accused is something bordering on contempt in my view.

“In the future, anyone who wishes to make such postings is advised, and it is better to seek legal counsel before taking action, as certain things may run afoul of the law,” he said.

On July 26, the prosecution had filed the formal application which had sought for three orders against Najib, namely for him to personally apologise to the court, and to remove the postings on his Facebook page on July 15 (9.30pm) and July 17 (11.23am).

It had also sought the court give directions to bar Najib from publishing similar remarks on evidence presented during the course of his corruption trial.

Mohd Nazlan had set previously set Tuesday August 13 as the hearing date for the applications.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigating officer Senior Assistant Commissioner Rosli Hussain is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court August 9, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigating officer Senior Assistant Commissioner Rosli Hussain is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court August 9, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

Meanwhile, today’s trial proceedings saw Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Senior Assistant Commissioner Rosli Hussain take the stand as the 57th and final prosecution witness.

Rosli, who testified that he sifted through over 1,000 documents for the purposes of investigations into this case, confirmed today with Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusoff how and when he obtained the exhibits for his investigations, some of which have since been tendered as evidence for the trial.

The senior investigator was made to view and verify documents such as SRC International’s secretarial records, and statements related to the first and second RM2 billion loan to SRC International from the Retirement Fund (Incorporated) (KWAP).

Other documents included a portion of Blackberry Messenger chat logs obtained from relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping’s seized device, and records of SRC International’s subsidiary companies Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd and Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd.

The trial resumes on Tuesday, August 13.