Can the defence submission create doubts to Najib's SRC case?

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 1) : After 90 days of hearing, Datuk Seri Najib Razak's SRC International Sdn Bhd trial will enter the final phase today with oral submissions from the former premier's defence team and the prosecution.

The burden of proof at the end of defence case is beyond reasonable doubt, where the court would determine whether Najib and his 19 defence witnesses have created uncertainty or had punched holes in the prosecution's case for the former premier to be let off the hook or be found guilty.

All written submissions by the defence and prosecution had been submitted to trial judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali earlier.

It is understood that the defence written submissions runs for 1,000 pages while the prosecution is said to be about 600 pages.

Najib's counsel led by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Harvinderjit Singh will try and impress on Justice Nazlan from the High Court, why the Pekan Member of Parliament should be acquitted of all seven charges of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money-laundering.

They will use all the testimonies from the 19 defence witnesses including Najib himself to say why the former premier should not be found guilty of all the charges.

This comes after Justice Nazlan had on last Nov 11, ordered the highest ranked politician in the country to enter his defence.

Besides Najib, among the defence witnesses called included former Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom, former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah and former Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad.

Shafee and Harvinderjit would be the first to submit before the High Court on why Najib has no case to answer, as they will try to convince the judge that they had successfully created doubts to the prosecution's case.

So far, the former premier's defence is bare denial of knowledge of the CBT, abuse of power and money laundering charges where the blame was pushed to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or better known as Jho Low and former SRC International managing director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil.

Both Jho Low and Nik Faisal are still at large as they have left the country.

Najib, who will turn 67 next month, is facing an abuse of power charge with regards to approving the RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to SRC International between August 17, 2011 and Feb 8, 2012, at the Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya.

If convicted of the charge under Section 23 of the MACC Act, 2009, the Pekan MP stands to face a maximum 20 years-jail, and a fine of not less than five times the amount or value received or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

The former Umno president also faces three criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges to the sum of RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million, when he served as the PM , finance minister and adviser emeritus to SRC International that was entrusted with the company's funds of RM4 billion.

He is alleged to have committed the offences between Dec 24, 2014 and Feb 10, 2015 at AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan. All three offences under Section 409 of the Penal Code bring a punishment of a maximum of 20 years in jail, whipping and a fine if convicted. However, due to his age, the whipping would not be imposed.

With regard to money laundering, Najib is alleged to have received RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million respectively, which were proceeds from unlawful activities via Real Time Electronic Transfer of Funds and Securities (Rentas) into two AmIslamic Bank Bhd accounts of his, bearing the numbers 2112022011880 and 2112022011906 at AmIslamic Bank Bhd, AmBank Group Building, 55 Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur between Dec 26, 2014 and Feb 10, 2015.

If convicted, he stands to face a maximum of 15 years in jail, and a fine of up to RM5 million or five times the amount, whichever is higher, for each charge under Section 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds from Unlawful Activity 2001

After Najib's defence team submits there will be a reply by the prosecution led by ad-hoc prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram, who has continued to be given the mandate, despite the change of government and Tan Sri Tommy Thomas's resignation as attorney-general last February.

The prosecution would try to convince Justice Nazlan and the court that despite the defence testimonies, their case on all seven charges remain intact or if not had strengthened their case against the former premier who was once the most powerful man in the country.

Shafee and Harvinderjit would then reply to the prosecution's submissions. All written submissions to the case had been given to Justice Nazlan earlier.

It is understood that the defence written submissions runs for close to 1000 pages while the prosecution is 600 pages.

The case is expected to gather world wide attention due to the high profile nature of the trial.

The Edge would carry this historic proceedings live.

 

The Edge is covering the trial live here.

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