Gag order bid against Najib shows prosecution ‘desperate’, says lawyer

Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks to reporters at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex September 20, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — The prosecution has allegedly exposed the weakness of its case against Datuk Seri Najib Razak when it asked the Sessions Court to prohibit the former prime minister from speaking publicly about the case, his lawyer claimed today.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said the request for a gag order was “desperation” on the prosecution’s part, which he alleged has not been able to build a solid case against his client.

“Now you will notice the desperation on the part of the authorities,” Shafee told reporters here.

“I think they are beginning to understand Datuk Seri Najib Razak when he makes explanations... I think he is becoming effective in his explanation and the authorities are worried that his explanation is beginning to take bite,” the lawyer added.

The prosecution had sought for Najib to be barred from issuing public statements and from attending public functions — except for religious or family purposes — as additional conditions for his bail.

It was rejected by the court.

Shafee claimed the deputy public prosecutors had requested for the gag order under the direction of Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas.

He then said it underscored the AG Chambers’ attempt to silence Najib, an action of a “desperate person” trying hard to win a flimsy case.

“You see this is clearly a step of a desperate person, a desperate authority, by all means they want to get Datuk Seri Najib at all costs.

“You notice the desperate application that the prosecution made to stop him from speaking to the press,” he said.

Najib was slapped with 21 counts of money laundering and four counts of power abuse earlier this evening in relation to the RM2.3 billion traced to his personal accounts.

He denied all charges. The Sessions Court granted Najib bail at RM3.5 million.

Shafee claimed the defence team has a solid case, highlighting the large sum from the RM2.3 billion returned by Najib as proof that the money was not stolen.

“You notice these charges are not well thought out,” Shafee said.

“You notice the charges about US$651 million were the subject matter of transmission into his account.

“I don’t think they realised the same charges also showed he transferred back into the same account US$620 million, which means all the claims that he took RM2.6 billion are not true because he returned most of it to the same account he received it from,” he added.

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