PUTRAJAYA, Aug 23 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today insisted that he was unrepresented in his final appeal for the SRC International corruption case, which he said has left his chances of success in the case thin.

Reading a statement before the Federal Court, Najib said he takes responsibility of his decisions over his representation in court — which included attempting to get a Queen's Counsel to represent him, dismissing Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Datuk Zaid Ibrahim's law firms, and having lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik trying to discharge himself.

"Over the past week, I have watched from the dock as my chances of success at this appeal slowly erode away. Not because of lack of merit but because I am not represented. While I note this Honourable Court’s decision on barring the discharge of my lawyers the fact of the matter is I am unrepresented.

"I believe that there has never been a single occasion in Malaysian legal history where a counsel in a criminal trial or appeal has been prevented from discharging himself from representing his client in similar circumstances or any reasonable circumstances," he said reading his statement.


Previously, Najib had lamented he was now effectively “defenceless” after the Federal Court dismissed his lead counsel’s application for discharge.

With Hisyam unable to discharge himself, the lawyer told reporters no submissions would be filed since he was in no position to participate in the current appeal proceedings as he was not accorded time to make the necessary preparations for Najib’s defence.

This meant that the defence will be solely relying on previous submissions filed at the Court of Appeal by Najib’s former counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.


Adding further, Najib said he took responsibility for decisions pertaining to his legal representation but stressed that he genuinely thought they were sound decisions at the time based on his solicitors and external counsel advice.

Najib went on to say he somehow felt mistreated and a fair trial was not accorded to him since at no point in time he was afforded the opportunity to explain himself nor has he been asked about the circumstances that led the court to this juncture.

“Now it seems to be adversely interpreted against me by this honourable court if an appellant similarly placed in my position cannot rely on his lawyers’ advice and being punished instead, fair trial and the rule of law seems to me illusory.

“Yang Arif, I plead that no offence is taken for what I have said, but it is simply how I feel. As an accused and appellant at the final stage of a case, it is the worst feeling to have, to realise that the might of the judicial machinery is pinned against me in the most unfair manner,” he said.

The final day of the hearing also saw Najib trying to recuse Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat from presiding over the case, which was rejected.

The Court of Appeal had on December 8, 2021 upheld the High Court’s July 2020 verdict and sentence of 12 years in prison and a fine of RM210 million meted against Najib.

Najib had been found guilty of one count of abuse of power, three counts of criminal breach of trust, and three counts of money laundering.