KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has dropped any allegations of bribery against trial judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali who had found him guilty in the High Court over the misappropriation of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s RM42 million funds.
In his latest affidavit in the Federal Court, Najib clearly stated his withdrawal of the allegations.
When commenting on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) probe in relation to Mohd Nazlan, Najib argued that the prosecution has a duty to disclose facts favourable to him and could not prejudice him “by claiming confidentiality of the MACC’s ongoing investigation”.
“For the record, I categorically withdraw any interpretation of what I said which may be taken to mean that Justice Nazlan was investigated for possible bribery,” Najib further said in the affidavit.
Najib was responding to the prosecution’s July 21 affidavit, which had said Najib’s purported personal knowledge of MACC investigations on Mohd Nazlan cannot be true as the independent enforcement agency would not disclose confidential information relating to an ongoing investigation.
He had previously claimed to know details about the MACC investigation and the names of the MACC officers who had conducted the investigation.
At another point in his latest affidavit, Najib also wrote: “As regards to the allegations of bribery, I again state that I withdraw them.”
While making clear that he is not making any bribery allegations against the SRC trial judge, Najib continued to insist that there is additional evidence which will show a serious conflict of interest by Nazlan and said this was why he was seeking a retrial of the entire SRC case.
According to local daily New Straits Times, this affidavit was filed last Friday by Najib’s new team of lawyers for the SRC case.
This is the third affidavit that Najib has filed as part of his application to add in purported new evidence to the SRC case.
As part of this application at the Federal Court, Najib is seeking a court order to have the entire SRC trial in the High Court declared null and void, and for the Federal Court to consider ordering a retrial of the SRC case.
Previously in his second affidavit filed for this application, Najib had also written that no bribery allegations were being made against Mohd Nazlan, but insisted that the judge’s alleged failure to disclose his previous roles in his former positions in Maybank would lead to a purported conflict of interest.
“I further state that no other impropriety such as bribery or the sort is alleged against Justice Nazlan, at this moment, except for the fact that His Lordship had failed to disclose his involvement/role/knowledge that leads to a conflict of interest to parties before or in the course of the SRC trial,” Najib had claimed then.
The prosecution has however previously stressed that there was no conflict of interest by Mohd Nazlan and that his former roles in Maybank were public knowledge and information available publicly before the SRC trial began, and had urged the Federal Court to dismiss Najib’s application.
Mohd Nazlan had heard Najib’s SRC trial at the High Court and found him guilty in July 2020, while the Court of Appeal had in December 2021 dismissed Najib’s appeal. Najib filed his final appeal in the Federal Court in December 2021 against his conviction and RM210 million fine and jail sentence.
It was only on June 7 this year that Najib filed the application to add on evidence which was purportedly newly discovered by him in relation to Mohd Nazlan, with the ultimate goal of seeking to nullify the trial.
The Federal Court is scheduled to hear Najib’s final SRC appeal over 10 days from August 15 to August 19 and from August 22 to August 26, and said it would not allow any postponements to this hearing.
The Federal Court is also scheduled to hear Najib’s application to seek for retrial of the SRC case on August 15 itself.
The SRC case is set to come up for a case management before the Federal Court tomorrow.
Previously on April 21, the judiciary confirmed that Mohd Nazlan had lodged a police report to deny the “false, baseless and malicious accusations” in an April 20 article by fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.
On May 21, the MACC said it had started investigations since March in relation to Mohd Nazlan and had completed the investigations, also saying that the investigation papers had been presented to the Attorney General’s Chambers on May 18 to be studied and for further instructions.