PUTRAJAYA, Feb 28 — The Federal Court today reserved its judgement on former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bid to review his conviction and sentence in SRC International Sdn Bhd case, after having exhausted his legal options to appeal last year.
Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, who chaired a five-member panel, said the bench needed time to deliberate on the matter, and later informed parties the court’s decision will be delivered no later than March 31.
“We’re not in a position to decide today. So, we will decide on the date to be fixed later and parties to be notified,” he said following a short recess after parties completed their submission.
Najib’s bid for the Federal Court review concluded after a hearing that spanned over six days from January 19 until today.
Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 recognises the Federal Court’s inherent power to review its previous decisions in order to prevent an injustice or an abuse of process, and it has been mostly used to set aside Federal Court’s decisions.
Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah represented Najib while ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram appeared for the prosecution.
Najib’s defence have indicated there are four grounds for the review that they want the apex court to reconsider namely; a review of the Federal Court’s earlier decision to reject the defence’s application to adduce further evidence concerning the SRC trial judge, a review of the apex court’s decision on the same day to dismiss Najib’s bid to postpone his appeal hearing, a review of the court’s decision to reject Najib’s application to recuse the Chief Justice and a review of the August 2022 decision by the five-member bench to affirm Najib’s conviction and sentence.
A five-member panel presided over today’s hearing with Abdul Rahman leading Federal Court judges Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang, and Datuk Nordin Hassan, as well as Court of Appeal judge Datuk Abu Bakar Jais.
Following his incarceration last year, Najib sought to challenge the Federal Court’s August 2022 unanimous decision in affirming his conviction, sentence and fine meted out by the High Court for the misappropriation of RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd fund.
On July 28, 2020, Justice Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali found him guilty of seven charges: three criminal breach of trust charges, three money-laundering charges and one abuse of power charge at the High Court.
Mohd Nazlan, who is now a Court of Appeal judge, sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and fined him RM210 million in default of five years imprisonment and his decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Dec 8, 2021.