PUTRAJAYA, Aug 23 — Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah made a surprise appearance at the Federal Court today for Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s final appeal hearing over his conviction of misappropriating funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd.
However, the lawyer who was recently discharged by Najib, left immediately after his request for a short adjournment of “24 hours” to make preparations in relation to Najib’s bid to recuse Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat was disallowed.
In brief, Shafee stated it was crucial for the court to deliberate on the matter such as recusal as it would “deliver a message on impartiality”, and that he merely wished to assist the court in reaching a conclusion.
He then sought a day’s adjournment for him to “gather his thoughts” and return to the court to submit the recusal application in detail after making preparations to present his arguments since he was lacking the necessary documents to do so today.
In an immediate and firm response, Tengku Maimun said the court found no reason for the hearing to be adjourned and ordered Hisyam to continue his submission on the application to recuse.
“We find no reason to adjourn this matter, so Tuan Haji please proceed,” she said, referring to Shafee.
Shafee was later seen leaving the court after his request was rejected.
Earlier today, Najib filed an application to recuse Tengku Maimun from hearing the appeal on grounds that her husband, Datuk Zamani Ibrahim, had expressed “negative sentiments” in a Facebook post following the 14th general election.
Najib had claimed Zamani would have influenced the thinking of Tengku Maimun as to his alleged culpability due to the nature of their spousal relationship.
The Court of Appeal had on December 8, 2021 upheld the High Court’s July 2020 verdict and sentence of 12 years in prison and a fine of RM210 million meted against Najib.
Najib had been found guilty of one count of abuse of power, three counts of criminal breach of trust, and three counts of money laundering.
A hearing in the country’s supreme court has been scheduled to take place over nine days, starting August 15 until August 19 and will resume today until August 26.
Source: Malay Mail