Tuesday, October 3, 2023
HomeEconomyFormer Malaysian PM Najib asks judge to recuse as trial day nears

Former Malaysian PM Najib asks judge to recuse as trial day nears

Roseanne Latif

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday asked the chief justice to recuse himself from the panel presiding over his final appeal to set aside corruption charges Convicted and 12 years in prison in cases related to the 1MDB financial scandal.

The move is seen as the latest move by Najib to block a final ruling by the Federal Court, which could otherwise hand down its judgment on Tuesday or set a new date for its decision.

Najib’s lawyers filed a court application on Monday night to remove Chief Justice Tunku Mak Wan Tuan Ma from a five-member panel hearing his appeal, citing “biased” comments on social media The real danger” her husband criticized Najib in 2018.

“Because of the conjugal relationship…there may be an unconscious bias. In a sense, his opinion, his opinion affects (the Chief Justice’s) findings on the appeal,” Najib’s lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik told the court.

The court begins hearing a new application, which the prosecution says is a delaying tactic.

“This application is malicious and deliberately sabotages the progress of the case,” said Chief Prosecutor V. Sithambaram.

Critics say Najib has repeatedly tried to delay the closing of the case, which was originally brought up at 2018.

Najib changed his legal team three weeks before the final appeal process began last week. His lawyer, Shyam, tried to resign last week, saying he did not have enough time to prepare, but the court refused to release him.

“I’m not ashamed to say that I’m as hopeless as any litigant I’m in trouble,” Najib said in a statement last week, explaining his final A move to change lawyers for a moment.

‘Illegal activity’

Appeal hearing scheduled for Friday.

But it may end early as prosecutors concluded their arguments last week with Najib’s lawyers refusing to submit their submissions, again citing lack of preparation time.

Najib, 84, in July 2020 for illegally accepting about $10 million dollars from SRC International, a former subsidiary of state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Former PM who pleads not guilty sentenced to 12 years in prison and 210 million Ringgit ($46.84 million) fine.

Prosecutors say some $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB – co-founded by Najib during his 84 first year as prime minister. Investigators say they have traced more than $1 billion in 1MDB funds to accounts linked to Najib.

The widespread scandal has implicated officials and financial institutions around the world and prompted the U.S. Department of Justice to open what has become its largest kleptocracy investigation.

Najib said his right to a fair trial was under threat after the court rejected multiple requests to delay his appeal to fully prepare his new legal team.

His former attorney filed a written petition before the hearing.

Najib listed in his submission 210 reasons why he should be acquitted, including some errors in lower court findings .

Prosecutors say Najib knew the funds received in his account were the proceeds of “illegal activities” and had exercised his role as finance minister position. Ministers and advisors to SRC International receive funding.

($1 = 4.4830 Ringgit)



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Featured NEWS