KUALA LUMPUR: The newly-appointed lawyer representing Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he would discharge himself from representing the former prime minister in the SRC International appeal hearing next week if an adjournment is not allowed.
Senior lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said this during case management of the appeal hearing today before Federal Court registrars Wan Fatimah Zahara Wan Yussof and Siti Hajar Mustaffa.
Hisyam said he would have no choice but to discharge himself from conducting the appeal if the Federal Court insisted on going on with proceedings during the set dates of Aug 15 to 26.
He insisted that the newly-appointed defence team was not ready to proceed with the main appeal hearings as they needed time to prepare.
He said there were heavy issues that needed to be deliberated and that this was no "ordinary appeal".
"If the court insists for the main appeal to proceed then I will have no choice but to discharge myself from representing the applicant (Najib)," he told the registrars via zoom proceedings this afternoon.
Also present during the case management hearing were Najib's other newly appointed lawyers Liew Teck Huat and Rueben Mathiavaranam.
The prosecution was represented by lead prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram and Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul.
Earlier, the registrars were told that both parties had filed their written submissions regarding Najib's application to adduce fresh evidence concerning his case.
The parties were then told that the hearing of the motion will start on Aug 15 with both sides expected to take about 4 hours to submit.
They were also informed that if the motion was dismissed, the court would proceed with the main appeal proper.
It was then that Hisyam said he planned to again make an oral application seeking for the main appeal hearing to be postponed.
He then proceeded to inform the court about his intention to discharge himself if the application to adjourn was not allowed.
Prior to this, both registrars had also made it clear that the Federal Court would not entertain any attempt to postpone the hearing.
This was relayed to Najib's lawyers after the court was informed that he had dropped his former lead counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, and appointed Messrs Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners (ZIST) to handle his final appeal.
The court had then refused to entertain the appeal for an adjournment by Najib's new defence team despite them pleading that they needed time to prepare.
The lawyers were then told to sort out whatever they were facing on their own and ordered the hearing dates to be maintained.
The court also ordered Najib's application to adduce fresh evidence in his defence to be heard on Aug 15, together with his main appeal.
Najib is seeking to overturn his 2020 conviction of all seven charges of power abuse, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in relation to RM42 million of SRC International funds.
Trial Judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali had sentenced him to 12 years' jail and RM210 million fine for the offences.
Since then, Najib has lost in his bid to overturn the conviction and sentence at the Court of Appeal and also failed in his attempts to introduce fresh evidence and appoint a Queen's Counsel to represent him.