Public prosecutor wants King’s Counsel appeal struck out

PUTRAJAYA: The public prosecutor is seeking leave to intervene in an appeal by UK-based King’s Counsel Jonathan Laidlaw who wants to be admitted as an advocate and solicitor to represent Datuk Seri Najib Razak in his SRC International Sdn Bhd (SRC) criminal case.

The Malaysian Bar too has filed an application to strike out Laidlaw’s appeal, citing that the appeal is academic as the Federal Court had already decided on Najib’s appeal on Aug 23.

In the notice of motion filed yesterday, the Bar contended that the appeal is frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court’s process.

In a notice of motion filed by the Attorney General’s Chambers on Friday, the public prosecutor is also seeking to strike out Laidlaw’s appeal on grounds that the appeal is academic and is an abuse of process and unsustainable.

The application was supported by an affidavit filed by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul, according to Bernama.

The public prosecutor, who was not named as a respondent in the King’s Counsel’s appeal, wants to be included as the fourth respondent.

The public prosecutor said it was a party in the proceedings at the High Court but was unilaterally dropped in the appeal.

The other respondents in the proceedings were the Attorney General, the Malaysian Bar and the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee.

The public prosecutor also said that Laidlaw’s appeal was incompetent as the notice of appeal was served out of time.

Laidlaw 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.

Laidlaw had in May filed a notice of originating motion through Messrs Shafee & Co at the High Court for his admission as a lawyer in Malaysia to represent Najib in his appeal in the Federal Court.

On Oct 12, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who is representing Najib, said Laidlaw would represent the former prime minister in the re-hearing of his appeal if his review application was allowed by the Federal Court.

Najib is serving a 12-year jail sentence in Kajang prison after he lost his appeal in the Federal Court to set aside his conviction on seven charges involving criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of position, involving SRC funds totalling RM42mil.

In 2020, the High Court sentenced him to 12 years in jail and fined him RM210mil.

His appeal against his conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal last year.

Najib’s review application has been fixed for hearing in the Federal Court for three days beginning Jan 19 next year.