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Face Arrest Warrant Or Attend Online Proceedings, Appeals Court Told Najib

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 7  — The Court of Appeal today said that it could issue a warrant of arrest for Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for his failure to attend today’s hearing of his application to adduce new evidence in his appeal over his conviction and sentence for misappropriating RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.

Justices Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, who is leading the three-member panel, said the court had two options for Najib’s team.

“The first option, we can cancel the bail and seize the bail money, issue a warrant of arrest for Najib, arrest him immediately and bring him to court.

“The second option, we can, in accordance with the Court of Judicature Act 1964 (COJA), hold the proceedings online without having to seek approval from both parties.

“We have experiences of holding online proceedings with both parties being in the United Kingdom, United States or Japan, let alone in Malaysia,” the judge said. The other two in the panel were Justices Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.

The court was initially scheduled to hear Najib’s application to adduce new evidence in his appeal today.

Abdul Karim, however, decided to continue the proceedings of Najib’s appeal decision against his conviction and sentence in relation to the misappropriation of SRC funds tomorrow, as scheduled.

This is after counsel Harvinder Singh Sidhu, who represented Najib, applied for today’s and tomorrow’s proceedings to be postponed due to the defence team’s counsel being a casual contact to Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s son, Muhammad Farhan, who was tested positive for COVID-19.

“I want you to inform the lawyers that they can work from home. Tomorrow means tomorrow. We have not made any decision to postpone. We will hear the application (to adduce new evidence) today. Tomorrow is for the decision of the appeal. All submissions are done and over with six months ago.

“This is my order, the case (application) will be heard at 12.30 pm (today), which I will decide accordingly today,” he said.

On Dec 1, Najib applied to the Appeals Court to allow and to direct for viva voce evidence to be taken from Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki, MACC investigating officer Rosli Hussein, who was the 57th prosecution witness in the SRC case, as well as evidence of any other witness in relation to the case.

Najib stated that he made the application following the MACC’s press release dated Nov 19 this year, on the recovery of fund assets of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) inter alia from Singapore, whereby the Government of Singapore had repatriated a sum of US$15.4 million to Malaysia relating to an account of Cutting-Edge Industries Ltd (CEIL) owned by Datuk Dr Tawfiq Ayman, the husband of former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

Sources: BERNAMA

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