Crime & Courts

Federal Court rejects Najib's application to recuse judges

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court today shot down Datuk Seri Najib Razak's application to recuse two judges from hearing UK-based King's Counsel Jonathan Laidlaw's appeal to be admitted as his advocate and solicitor in the SRC International Bhd case.

Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah at the outset of today's proceedings argued that Federal Court Judges Datuk Nordin Hassan and Datuk Abu Bakar Jais were previously involved in Najib's similar matters.

Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof, who chaired the three-member bench, however, dismissed the application, stating that there was no merit in the application.

Laidlaw had filed an appeal to the Federal Court after the High Court rejected his application to be admitted as an advocate and solicitor on July 21 last year.

The public prosecutor, who was not named as a respondent in Laidlaw's appeal, subsequently filed an intervener application to be included as the fourth respondent in his (Laidlaw's) appeal on grounds that it was a party in the proceedings at the High Court, but was unilaterally dropped in the appeal.

Meanwhile, the Attorney-General's Chambers, the Malaysian Bar and Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee, named as respondents in Laidlaw's appeal, have also filed their respective applications to strike out Laidlaw's appeal.

Najib, 69, is serving a 12- year jail sentence after the Federal Court upheld his conviction, jail sentence and RM210 million fine for misappropriation of RM42 million SRC International funds on Aug 23, last year.

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