Prisoner-in-Waiting Najib In Deep Shit – Attack On Judge Nazlan Backfires, Federal Court Destroys All Delay Tactic

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Aug 16 2022
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Malaysia’s Judicial system will be a laughing stock if former Prime Minister Najib Razak is acquitted in his final appeal in the Federal Court for corruption. All hell will break loose if the same judiciary later finds opposition figure Lim Guan Eng guilty of his current ongoing corruption trial. Can you imagine setting Najib free based on “hearsay”, but jails Lim also based on hearsay?


The difference is, while Najib wanted to use hearsay as evidence in his final appeal to break free, Lim has been charged based on hearsay. Najib has been found guilty – twice – while Lim’s trial in still in progress. More importantly, the dirty money trail has been established in Najib’s case, where he had happily spent the stolen money. Not a penny found in Lim’s case.


Therefore, it was an absolutely correct decision when the Federal Court threw away Najib’s request to introduce fresh evidence today. It was a delay tactic deployed by his multi-million-dollar top legal team to keep him out of prison – till after the 15th General Election. The strategy is to intimidate – even change the judges – once Najib’s corrupted political party wins the polls.

Najib Razak - Sad Shocked

The defence argued that High Court Judge Nazlan Ghazali, who in July 2020 sentenced the ex-premier to 12 years in prison for abuse of power, and 10 years in jail for each of six counts of money laundering and breach of trust (CBT) in addition to RM210 million fines, was tainted with serious conflict of interest when presiding over the SRC International trial. Hence, they wanted a fresh trial.


The genius Najib said Nazlan ought to have ejected himself from hearing the case based on a desperately twisted argument that the judge, formerly general counsel for Maybank (2006 to 2015), was involved in the decision-making process which led to the formation of SRC as subsidiary of 1MDB. Najib has also accused that “bias” Nazlan was involved in granting RM4.17 billion loan to 1MDB.


To make the false accusation more dramatic, Najib paid disgraced blogger-turn-fugitive Raja Petra Kamarudin to smear the reputation of Nazlan with claims that the judge was corrupted and had received RM1 million from 1MDB. Nazlan lodged a police report in April. Stunningly, Najib withdrew his bribery allegations in early August, just a week before today’s final appeal.

High Court Judge Nazlan Mohd Ghazali

However, the damage has been done. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), led by its highly corrupted chief commissioner Azam Baki, obediently opened investigation papers on Nazlan to help Najib’s corruption case. The plan was not only to damage the credibility of the High Court Judge, but also to intimidate, threaten and interfere with the administration of justice.


Showing her disgust over the relentless attacks on the judiciary by corrupt politicians, Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat – the first woman Chief Justice – warned in April that baseless accusations against judges had gone overboard. Defending Judge Nazlan, Chief Justice Maimun made it clear that outside meddling would never be entertained under her leadership.


It was a warning very few took seriously, included the arrogant defence team of Najib. Today (Aug 16), the country’s first woman chief justice flexed her muscle and showed the former premier that she refused to be bullied and intimidated. She used Najib’s appeal as an example to demonstrate how cases are decided based on evidence – not half-baked hearsay – in court.

Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat – First Woman Chief Justice

Leading a five-member bench, Chief Justice Maimun said Najib had failed to show the relevance of the dubious new evidence against his corruption charges. She said – “It is not as if Justice Nazlan’s previous role (as Maybank general counsel) was a secret that his subsequent involvement came as a surprise”. It was a slap in the face of both Najib and the entire defence team.


Nazlan’s previous employment with Maybank was a public knowledge. In fact, his role was well documented in the annual reports of the country’s largest banking group. Even if he was involved in the decision-making which led to the formation of SRC, the decision was not his alone. He was not the CEO or CFO, let alone the biggest shareholder of Maybank who approved the loan to 1MDB.


Even if Nazlan had the power to approve RM4.17 billion loan to 1MDB, which he did not, he would end up as Najib’s partner-in-crime. So, how could he be bias and sentenced Najib to 12 years in prison? Besides, based on how Najib’s legal eagle repeatedly and meticulously scrutinized the appointment of Gopal Sri Ram as lead prosecutor, it’s hard to believe the same defence team hadn’t a clue about Nazlan’s roles in Maybank.

Maybank Tiger Logo - Islamic Banking

It was both flabbergasting and hilarious to see Najib’s new defence team led by Hisyam Teh Poh Teik stoop so low in scrapping the bottom of the barrel, bulldozing Nazlan’s non-relevance career in Maybank just to get a retrial for the crook. Chief Justice Maimun lectured the defence that the application to adduce additional evidence did not fulfil the requirements of the law.


More importantly, Tengku Maimun said the applicant – Najib Razak – had failed to state exactly what the proposed additional evidence would prove. Therefore, she said “there is no miscarriage of justice”. To rub salt into Najib’s wound, the decision by the Federal Court, the highest court and the final appellate court in the country, is unanimous.


Even if Nazlan has shown elements of bias or conflict, which he did not, would not the three-member Court of Appeal have acquitted Najib on December 8, 2021? Instead, not only the Court of Appeal upheld Najib Razak’s conviction, delivering a stunning blow to the crook’s plan for a political comeback, the court has also called the 1MDB scandal a “national embarrassment”.

 Court of Appeal - Judge Abdul Karim, Has Zanah, Vazeer Alam

The most ridiculous lie – Arab donation – was rubbished by the Court of Appeal altogether. Judge Abdul Karim said the donation from the King of Saudi Arabia was “a concoction” due to the defence’s failure to provide evidence to confirm that the RM42 million was indeed originated from the Saudi royal family. Because the authenticity of Arab letters cannot be established, the donation remained hearsay and inadmissible.


The U.S.-DOJ investigation results say that over US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from the 1MDB fund, with some of the money used to finance Hollywood films, and buy hotels, private jet, luxury Equanimity superyacht, Picasso paintings, jewellery and real estate. Najib has claimed RM2.6 billion found in his private bank was “donation” from Saudi Arabia royal family, a claim that could not be proven.


Last year, Najib’s lawyers insulted the Court of Appeal’s intelligence with donation tales, which all the three judges laughed off as hearsay. Today, Najib’s new lawyers tried again to insult the intelligence of five judges of the Federal Court with yet another round of hearsay that High Court Judge Nazlan was corrupted. When that failed, the defence asked for a three to four month postponement.

Malaysia Palace of Justice

Najib’s new defence attorneys, included the legendary Zaid Ibrahim, thought the Kangaroo Court would buy the cheap excuse that they were not prepared. Unfortunately to Najib, after having observed how the notorious former PM wasted 4 years of court resources with unnecessary delays, Chief Justice Maimun rejected the request to postpone the hearing.


Mocking Najib’s decision to change counsel at the last minute, Maimun said the ex-premier was well aware of the hearing dates – “It is the appellant’s right to discharge his former solicitors and appoint new ones. This is his right to do so, but he cannot, after having made that decision, turn around and say that his new lawyers are not ready to proceed with the hearing of the appeals”.


Disgraced Najib thought he was too cunning for the Federal Court to handle, only to be played like a fiddle by the cleverer Chief Justice Maimun. As a consolation, she gave one day for the defence team to prepare, ordering the appeal hearing to begin on Thursday (Aug 18). She pointed that the dates have been fixed as far back as April, some four months ago.

1MDB - Jho Low and Najib Razak

Lecturing Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners, who in turn appointed Hisyam Teh Poh Teik as lead counsel, Tengku Maimun deliberately invoked Rule 6(a) of the Legal Profession (Practice and Etiquette) Rules 1978 which stipulated that an advocate and solicitor must not accept a brief he is reasonably certain of not being able to appear and represent the client on the required day.


With tail between legs, Mr Najib cried, whined and bitched at the court lobby that he was “shocked and bitterly disappointed” with the Federal Court’s decisions. Other judges on the bench are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Abang Iskandar and Federal Court judges – Nallini Pathmanathan, Mary Lim Thiam Suan and Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah.


About two weeks before the hearing was scheduled to start, Najib deliberately fired his self-proclaimed hotshot lead counsel Shafee Abdullah from his appeal so that a new team of lawyers could be appointed for the purpose of delaying the final appeal. With Tengku Maimun in charge, it appears Prisoner-in-Waiting Najib Razak is almost game over.

Najib Razak in Prison - JailNajib Razak in Prison - Jail

For almost 4 years, the defence has used various creative and innovative excuses to delay the trials, ranging from lead counsel Shafee’s dubious claim of being bitten by his pet dog to Najib’s swollen eyes due to allergic reaction. Najib, who served as the 6th Prime Minister of Malaysia (2009 to 2018), should have seen what’s coming months ago.


In April, Goldman Sach’s banker Roger Ng was found guilty by a New York jury, leaving him to face up to 30 years in prison. The U.S. court, which took only eight weeks to deliver the verdict, has certainly piled pressure on the Malaysian judicial system, which needed almost 2 years to convict Najib in the trial of SRC International (a subsidiary of 1MDB).


Worse, the trial of Roger Ng has directly implicated Najib Razak, his stepson Riza Aziz and partner-in-crime Jho Low. In the trial, the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) has testified in the U.S. court that not only Jho Low had stolen US$1.42 billion (RM6 billion), Najib Razak similarly stole US$756 million (RM3.2 billion) while his stepson, Riza Aziz, pocketed US$238 million (RM1 billion).

1MDB Scandal - How Najib Becomes A Billionaire and Fund His Wife’s Diamonds

The U.S. Jurors were also shown how 1MDB money was stolen to fund a US$23 million pink diamond necklace for Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor. On July 21, the High Court rejected an application by Queen’s Counsel Jonathan Laidlaw to represent Najib in the final appeal, arguing that there are sufficient local attorneys who are more than capable of handling the former PM’s case.


It didn’t help that former Attorney General Apandi Ali, who was appointed by Najib to clear him of all wrongdoings, has admitted on July 16 that he was involved in brokering a deal between fugitive Jho Low and the Malaysian government as early as May this year. Exactly how could the Federal Court free Najib with overwhelming evidence stacked against him?


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