To anyone who follows the Judicial Review of the SRC International case involving former Prime Minister Najib Razak, the immediate thought would be that the latter should not be in prison by now as there have been non-compliance on procedures and there were related issues like due process and the rule of law.
The Chief Justice (CJ) in her haste to rush to judgement, and convict Najib by hook or by crook, was carried away by emotions and jailed Najib based on her prejudices, pet theories, fixations and hang ups. This was evident when she read the ruling on 23 August 2023 after denying the accused and the defence team their right to representation as earlier, Najib’s counsel, Hisyam Teh, had applied to discharge himself.
Najib To Jail
Even a request for one day extension was not given then, although the Federal Court had a three-day window before Ruling was supposed to be passed. She insisted on making the ruling on 23 August itself and thereby sent Najib to jail in haste, two days before the trial should have ended. Interestingly, the judgement text, dated 26 August, was leaked on Sunday, 21 August, yet she read it out verbatim on 23 August 2022.
CJ Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat did not allow the other members of the Federal Court Appeal Panel to speak up. There was no dissenting judgement despite the five-person Panel.
According to Najib’s legal counsel, Shafee Abdullah in his representation during the Review, the accused has the right to conduct the case in the best manner possible. He is right, of course, as the court and the Prosecution cannot degenerate into conspiracy theories and/or impute sinister motives to the accused/Applicant.
On Monday, the mainstream media went to town by saying that Najib engineered his own downfall in changing lawyers and using the CJ husband’s FB posting as grounds for the CJ to recuse herself.
Yesterday, the ad-hoc prosecutor V.Sitthambaran referred to the influence of the husband of the CJ in making her judgement.
Referring to Zamani Ibrahim’s Facebook status, Sithambaram alluded that what was written was general knowledge.
“What was written is about Umno and Barisan Nasional’s (BN) loss, Najib as the cause and about the ongoing 1MDB case and the posting had not mentioned anything about the SRC case.
“It was the personal view of the CJ’s husband and also the general consensus at that time,” Sithambaram said at the Palace of Justice here.
Sithambaram said, in 2018, SRC was an independent GLC under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance and therefore has no relevance to the case presided by the CJ.
“There is no basis for recusal as requested by the defendant and it cannot be taken as spousal influence, as the 1MDB case was the subject of discussion of all Malaysians, at that time,” he said.
It is obvious that Prosecutors have run of ideas to discredit Shafee’s arguments, and have been repeating the same excuses and accusations without strengthening their points.
That being the case, in all fairness, shouldn’t Najib be granted a retrial and released on his own cognisance as there were so many things that were wrong in the trials that brought him to Kajang prison? – mediahit
People should not be imprisoned without having the ability to challenge the legality of that imprisonment.– Jeff Bingaman, United States Senator