Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s plea to adduce new evidence in his bid to overturn his conviction in the RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption case has been rejected by the Federal Court.
During the hearing in the Palace of Justice this afternoon, a panel of five judges led by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat issued a unanimous ruling in another major setback for the ex-PM.
Tengku Maimun, who delivered the decision, stated that the panel of justices determined that the Court of Appeal was justified in ruling that the fresh evidence application was without merit.
She pointed out that the evidence requested has no bearing on the key issue in the SRC case, which is Najib’s knowledge of the RM42 million.
Najib’s application does not comply with the condition that the evidence was unavailable at the time of the SRC trial in the High Court, according to the top court.
“We find that the fresh evidence application did not comply with the legal requirements, and they are, as such, without merit.
“We find that the Court of Appeal was correct in its decision that the fresh evidence application was of no merit. We do not find any appealable error. In this consensus, this appeal is hereby dismissed,” she says.
Najib tried to bring evidence that former Bank Negara governor Zeti Aziz’s family were involved in the 1MDB scandal, based on a media conference by the current anti-corruption chief.
Najib is appealing the Court of Appeal’s judgement from December 7 last year, challenging the Court’s decision to deny his request to adduce more evidence.
The Court of Appeal denied his primary appeal the next day, dismissing his conviction, as well as a 12-year prison sentence and an RM210 million fine, in the SRC fraud case.
Maimun further pointed out that the breadth of the evidence requested in the application was too broad, and that the evidence sought was not described specifically.
She claimed that the affidavit supporting the additional evidence request did not identify the basis for the request or whatever particular fact related the prospective witnesses to the ostensibly new evidence.
“The witnesses (such as Zeti) were made available by (the prosecution at the start of the defence stage of Najib’s SRC trial), but the appellant (Najib) declined to call (the witnesses),” the judge says.
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