KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bid to nullify his SRC International Bhd conviction by accusing trial judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali of being biased has been described as nothing more than a ludicrous and desperate attempt to exonerate himself of blame.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul said there was no evidence whatsoever to show Nazlan had committed conflict of interest by hearing the SRC case just because he previously worked at Maybank as its legal counsel and company secretary.
Instead, he said Najib was attempting to confuse and muddle the SRC trial by accusing Nazlan of committing conflict of interest.
He said Najib had strategically resorted to demonising Nazlan to shape public opinion ahead of his final appeal at the Federal Court on Aug 15.
He said this was being done to bolster Najib’s conflict of interest theory and to discredit Nazlan.
Ashrof said there was actually nothing new or fresh in Najib’s application to bring in new evidence and annul his 12-year jail term and RM210 million fine which had been imposed on him by Nazlan after he was convicted of misappropriating RM42 million of SRC funds.
In his 23 page affidavit in reply to Najib’s application, the DPP shot down Najib’s claims about Nazlan’s involvement in the establishment of SRC.
He said there was ample documentary evidence produced by the prosecution during trial to show that the company was established by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and not by Maybank Investment Sdn Bhd, where Nazlan had previously worked.
It was reported that Najib is arguing that Nazlan should not have sat over his SRC trial due to his previous position in Maybank as this would point to conflict of interest.
He also accused Nazlan of failing to disclose his past positions and previous roles in Maybank before he became judge.
However, Ashrof said Najib’s defence had all the while known about Nazlan’sposition in Maybank during the SRC trial as such information was in the public domain.
“The issue of the conflict of interest could have been raised during the trial but Najib chose not to do it as it had no validity.
“The applicant (Najib) in a desperate attempt is now raising these unfounded allegations against a judge who cannot defend himself,” he said.
Ashrof said Nazlan’s finding that Najib had total control of SRC was based on overwhelming evidence including documents tenderedat the trial.
“What has to be proven, and indeed was proven by the prosecution, is that SRC’s RM42 million was wrongfully lost and Najib had wrongfully gained the said RM42 million,” he said.
On Najib’s claims that his personal bank accounts were manipulated by Low Taek Jho @ Jho Low, former SRC chief executive Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and the late Datuk Azlin Alias, Ashrof said Najib himself had agreed and confirmed that it was the duty of the trio to ensure there were sufficient funds in his bank accounts at all times.