Lawyer: Najib ‘shocked’ to be called to enter defence for all SRC charges, expected to be acquitted

Danial Dzulkifly
Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah speaks to reporters at the Kuala Lumpur High Court November 11, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak was “shocked” to enter his defence for all seven charges related to his RM42 million SRC International corruption case, said his defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Shafee said the former prime minister had expected an acquittal for all seven charges after facts of the case were rebutted through submissions to the courts.

“He was shocked that every charge, defence was called. He, too, was expecting an acquittal on all seven charges,” Shafee told the press at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex here.

“We were confident for all the seven charges, there will be an acquittal at this stage because we have rebutted the presumption even within the prosecution case.

“So of course, he was surprised, in fact, shocked is the word,’’ he added.

Subsequently, Shafee also revealed that he had filed a contempt of court filing this morning against three entities for making “contemptuous statement” in regards to the SRC case.

Shafee only revealed that he had made the filing against a media organisation, a journalist and a politician, without elaborating further.

Earlier today, High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali decided that Najib has to enter his defence in the SRC International case, ruling that the prosecution has successfully presented credible evidence to prove all elements of the seven charges against him and which would warrant a conviction if Najib fails to rebut or explain them.

Najib then said he would choose to give a sworn statement from the witness stand in his own defence, which means he would be subjected to cross-examination by the prosecution.

Out of the seven charges levelled against  Najib, the Pekan MP is accused of committing three counts of criminal breach of trust over a total RM42 million of SRC International funds while entrusted with its control as the prime minister and finance minister then, and a separate charge under an anti-corruption law of abusing the same positions for self-gratification of the same RM42 million sum.

The remaining three of the seven charges are for allegedly money-laundering the same total sum of RM42 million.

The High Court had previously on August 27 fixed December 3 to 4, December 9 to 19 excluding Fridays for trial at the defence stage if Najib’s defence is called.

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