Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Don’t chastise us for taking SRC case: Najib’s side vents disappointment


Don’t chastise us for taking SRC case: Najib’s side vents disappointment

Defence duo respond to court rejection, saying as new legal reps, they need more time to prepare

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (left), Datuk Zaid Ibrahim (centre), and lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik (right) engage with the media in a press conference outside the courtroom today, after a string of rejections from the Federal Court. – AZIM RAHMAN/The Vibes pic, August 16, 2022

PUTRAJAYA – Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his two counsels have expressed disappointment in a string of rejections at the Federal Court here today, with Datuk Zaid Ibrahim also hitting out at the legal fraternity over its criticism on him taking over the SRC International appeal case.

Zaid, in a press conference outside the courtroom said “I’m saddened that we’ve been castigated for taking up this case during the last minute. I wouldn’t have done so if I didn’t think it has basis.

“There is no respect for people like us. Old folks at the Bar, you can be so flippant…so cavalier about it.”

He was responding to criticism against both lawyers for taking the case at the eleventh hour.

Meanwhile, Najib said the new evidence he sought to introduce was critical to his SRC International case.

“I was shocked at the court’s decision. I believe that the additional evidence would have shown that he (then high court judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali) was very much aware of the transactions – and statements by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on the matter would have shown the truth,” he said, referring to the apex court binning his application to adduce new evidence.

As for lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, he said he is at a loss for words and “terribly disappointed with the stance taken by the Federal Court”.

“We will put some serious thought into our next course of action this Thursday.”

In the same press conference, Zaid then expressed confidence in Hisyam’s abilities while assuring that his firm will do its best for Najib in his final appeal, which is slated to begin properly this Thursday.

Prior to the start of the hearing, Najib had changed lawyers, replacing Tan Sri Mohd Shafee Abdullah and his law firm Shafee & Co with Hisyam of Messrs Hisyam Teh, and Zaid of Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew and Partners, effective July 25.

Liew Teik Huat and Rueben Mathiaravanam (of Messrs Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners) were also reported to be co-counsels.

Due to the eleventh-hour appointment, Hisyam had applied to the Federal Court for a postponement as his new team needed more time to prepare. This, however, was rejected by the court.

On August 10, Hisyam said during case management that he would discharge the defence team, leaving Najib to possibly losing legal representation, if the court does not allow for further postponement.

However, on August 12, Zaid refuted that Hisyam would discharge the defence team if an adjournment was not granted and reaffirmed that they would not abandon Najib in this case. – The Vibes, August 16, 2022


  1. Is it correct that before taking up a case after a previous legal team was discharged, the new legal team should do so only if it (the new team) is confident of representing its client well particularly when the tight deadlines are already known.

    If so, the new legal team should not be bitching of insufficient time to prepare the case as is being done now.

  2. Najib was given ample, ample time after the Court of Appeals verdict to prepare the Appeal to the Federal Court.
    So the Federal Court insisting that that Najib's side be ready to present their case starting this Thursday is fair and logical.
    Changing horses in midstream was Najib's choice, not the Federal Court's concern.