A Royal Counsel (QC) from the United Kingdom (UK), Jonathan Laidlaw has applied for permission to represent former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in his appeal of the RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd fund embezzlement case.
Based on a report by Astro Awani, the notice of originating motion involving the UK lawyer was filed by the law firm of Messrs Shafee & Co at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on 31 May, which was the deadline for the filing process.
Laidlaw had since applied to be accepted and registered to represent Najib as the lead counsel in the appeal of the SRC case in the Federal Court and other related matters.
Among the reasons for Laidlaw’s application is that the appeal of Najib’s SRC case will involve serious, complex and important issues related to several branches of criminal and civil law, practice and evidence, appellant’s constitutional rights, handling of proceedings by the prosecution, sentencing of criminal cases by the court hearing the trial and administration of the Criminal Justice System.
Najib also allegedly wanted a professional as his lead counsel in this case as Laidlaw has qualifications, experience and expertise that are not possessed by lawyers in Malaysia.
On 25 January, a letter was submitted to the Secretariat of Chief Justice, Tun Tengku Maimun Tian Mat on Najib’s intention to appoint a QC to assist him on complex issues and legal questions in the appeal of the SRC case at the Federal Court.
This comes after the Court of Appeal, on 8 December 2021, upheld his conviction and sentenced him to 12 years in prison as well as a RM210 million fine for misappropriating the SRC funds. He has since filed an appeal to the Federal Court.
Stay tuned for more updates.