Sithambaram’s statement to apex court has ‘slandered’ us, says Zaid’s firm

Sithambaram’s statement to apex court has ‘slandered’ us, says Zaid’s firm

Sithambaram’s statement to apex court has ‘slandered’ us, says Zaid’s firm
Ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram did not inquire the true position prior to making a ‘slanderous’ statement, Najib Razak’s ex-solicitors claim.

PETALING JAYA: The law firm which briefly acted as solicitors for former prime minister Najib Razak in his SRC International corruption appeal have called on ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram to clarify a statement he made in court about them which was “factually incorrect” and “entirely untrue”.

On Wednesday, Sithambaram told a Federal Court panel hearing Najib’s bid to have the case reviewed that “the previous solicitors took over the case with the sole purpose of asking for an adjournment.”

“That statement is incorrect and highly regrettable,” law firm Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners said in a letter to the Federal Court on Thursday. The letter was also copied to Sithambaram.

“(Sithambaram) has no evidence to justify making the statement in court,” the letter said, adding that it amounted to a “slander” on the firm’s lawyers as advocates and solicitors and as officers of the court.

“Moreover, the learned prosecutor never inquired from us what the true position was prior to making his slanderous statement,” the letter, sighted by FMT, said.

Although appointed at the same time Najib made lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik his lead counsel, the firm suggested that the two appointments were unconnected.

“Hisham Teh did not take instructions from us, and was not retained by us,” the letter said.


However, they did work together to prepare for the hearing of Najib’s application to adduce fresh evidence, which the Federal Court rejected on Aug 16.

When the court rejected Hisyam’s application to postpone the appeal proper on Aug 16, and again two days later, Hisyam applied to be discharged as counsel.

“The learned judges of the Federal Court did not direct or inquire with (the firm’s lawyers) Zaid Ibrahim, Liew Teck Huat or Rueben Mathiavaranam whether they would be making submissions in place of counsel Hisyam Teh,” the letter, which the three lawyers jointly signed, said.

“Our firm was discharged by Najib the following day (and) our involvement ended there.”

On July 28, 2020, Najib was convicted by Justice Nazlan Ghazali, then a High Court judge, of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust charges over SRC funds amounting to RM42 million.

Najib appealed to the Federal Court after the Court of Appeal affirmed the ruling in December 2021.


On July 25 last year, Najib discharged lead counsel Shafee Abdullah and solicitors Shafee & Co. They were replaced by Hisyam and Zaid’s firm, respectively.

After rejecting Hisyam’s application to postpone the hearing, the Federal Court went on to hear and dismiss Najib’s final appeal on August 23.

Najib was immediately sent to Kajang prison to begin serving his 12-year prison term.

The former prime minister filed his motion seeking a review by the Federal Court of its own ruling last year on the ground that the appeal hearing had breached principles of natural justice, including Najib’s right to a fair trial and to counsel.

The hearing of the motion is ongoing before a panel of five judges chaired by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abdul Rahman Sebli.

Also on the bench are Justices Vernon Ong, Rhodzariah Bujang, Nordin Hassan and Abu Bakar Jais.

Why was this firm given the project?

Sithambaram’s statement to apex court has ‘slandered’ us, says Zaid’s firm




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