Najib’s woes multiply: The High Court allows prosecution to commence impeachment proceedings against him…

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Hidir Reduan Abdul Rashid & Hariz Mohd

Published:   |  Modified: 

Prosecution seeks to impeach Najib over alleged contradictory testimony

9.47am – DPP V Sithambaram applies for impeachment proceeding against Najib Abdul Razak over his testimony which allegedly contradicted his statement to the MACC.

“At this juncture, I wish to apply for the impeachment of the credibility of this witness (Najib) under Section 145 (1) and Section 155 (c) of the Evidence Act,” Sithamabram says.

The prosecutor seeks to do so after Najib admits today to the discrepancies in his witness statement to the court and what he told investigators about his signatures on several crucial documents related to the SRC International Sdn Bhd affair.

Although Najib had testified that he informed the MACC at the time that the signature appeared to be his, he is now asking the court to allow a foreign expert to confirm it this was indeed the case.

Previously, Najib testified that he informed the MACC then that the signatures appeared to be his.

Impeachment application attempt to stop defence from calling expert witness – Shafee

10.03am: Najib Abdul Razak’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and DPP V Sithambaram continue to argue over whether the court should hear prosecution’s impeachment application against the accused, who is testifying in his defence.

As Sithambaram says that the defence has no right to stop the court from looking into Najib’s testimony and decide on the application, Shafee accuses the prosecution of attempting to stop the defence from calling an expert witness to examine signatures on several documents that had allegedly been signed by Najib.

Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali then allowed a 30-minute adjournment for the defence to prepare for submission on impeachment process.

10.54am:  Proceedings resume after a brief break, with the High Court now expected to hear Najib Abdul Razak’s defence team’s counter-submission against the prosecution’s bid to impeach the accused as a reliable witness.

Prosecution: Najib gave different versions to MACC and court

11.10am: Prosecution submits their argument on why the court should deliberate into the application to impeach Najib Abdul Razak, who is testifying in his defence.

DPP V Sithambaram tells the court that Najib had given different versions of his statement during MACC investigation and to the court.

This, according to him, is why the court should take a look into Najib’s statement to the authority and compare it with his testimony in court.

Sithambaram says that Najib himself had during cross-examination agreed that there were contradictions.

“So until the MACC statement is seen by my lordship, my friend (defence lawyer) cannot preempt my application for the court to look at the statement.

“Especially (when) the accused himself agreed there is contradiction between his statement and MACC statement,” says Sithambaram.

The government attorney also claims that contradiction in Najib’s supplementary statement and the MACC statement had also not been explained.

“I pray we will take the first step by underlining the portions in MACC statement for my lord to look at and make preliminary decision”.

Najib has explained purported contradiction in testimony: Defence

11.30am: The prosecution’s bid to impeach accused Najib Abdul Razak for alleged material contradiction in his testimony is frivolous, the High Court hears.

Najib’s defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh argues that the court should not allow the impeachment bid as the accused has already explained the alleged contradiction.

“The issue in question is whether there has been a contradiction, there is no material contradiction as he (Najib) has explained it.

“He is not saying he did not sign, he is saying he doubts the authenticity (of the signatures on the documents) and wished for a (handwriting expert) to look at it,” Harvinderjit argues.

The prosecution is seeking to impeach Najib over his alleged material contradiction in regards to whether he had seen and signed material documents linked to the RM2 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to SRC International in 2012.

In the statement that Najib had given to MACC during investigations, he allegedly confirmed having seen and signed these documents, which include minutes of SRC International board of directors meetings, among others.

However, in Najib’s Witness Statement, he testified that he is uncertain on whether he had signed the documents.

He is also seeking for an Australian handwriting expert to be allowed to examine said documents to confirm if the signatures were really his.

Impeachment bid not in good faith: Najib’s defence

11.52am: Najib Abdul Razak’s lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah argues that the prosecution’s impeachment bid against the accused was not done in good faith.

Shafee says this is because the prosecution only made the application today, just a day before the High Court tomorrow is set to hear Najib’s bid for an Australian handwriting expert to examine crucial SRC International documents that allegedly were signed by Najib.

Previously, it was reported that Najib’s defence team made an application for the court to allow the expert to examine the various documents which were purported signed by Najib.

“There is lack of bona fide (good faith) in the (impeachment) application due to the impending (hearing) of (Najib’s) application tomorrow for the expert to look at the various documents related to (Najib’s) signatures.

“I warn the other side (prosecution) that this (impeachment bid) is precisely what would bolster our application tomorrow,” Shafee argues.

Shafee is counter-submitting against the application made by DPP V Sithamaram to initiate impeachments proceedings against Najib over the accused’s alleged contradictory testimony in court linked to the ongoing RM42 million SRC International trial.

Court allows bid to commence impeachment proceeding against Najib

12.32pm: The Kuala Lumpur High Court allows the prosecution’s bid to commence impeachment proceedings against former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali allows the bid by DPP V Sithambaram in relation to alleged material contradiction in the accused’s testimony regarding whether he signed or not crucial documents in the RM42 million SRC International case.

“Having looked at submissions, I find the prosecution’s application to initiate impeachment process against the accused in respect of alleged contradiction in his Supplementary Witness Statement and the statement he gave to MACC is not without merit.

“The court is to be shown the (alleged) statement containing the alleged contradiction in his Supplementary Witness Statement and the Statement to MACC on how the matter is to progress,” Nazlan said.

The court will now look at the alleged documents showing the contradiction.

The court also set 2pm for the impeachment proceeding.

The proceedings now adjourn for lunch.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/506025

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KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s SRC International Bhd corruption trial has applied to impeach the former Prime Minister for giving oral testimony which contradicts what he told Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers.

Lead prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram said Najib was saying different things in court compared to what he had told MACC investigators when his statement was recorded.

The deputy public prosecutor (DPP) said Najib himself had admitted that there were serious material contradictions in his witness statement compared to what he had told the MACC officers.

“I am therefore applying to impeach the accused under Section 145 and 155 of the Evidence Act,” he said.

https://www.nst.com.my/news/crime-courts/2020/01/553818/prosecution-applies-impeach-najib

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