If I was Agong, I will consider Najib for Pardon, on grounds of ‘miscarriage of justice’ . . .

Listen to soft instrumental music for 15 to 20 mins before bed to calm the emotions and have a restful night . . .

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2020/07/29/report-igp-says-jho-low-hiding-in-macau-protected-by-beijing/1889076

Malays don’t understand rule of law, the basis of the Constitution. The rule of law is not only about the letter of the law but the spirit of the law too and with greater emphasis on the latter.

I could have done better than Shafee.

He’s a case of talking too much. With “friends” like these, one doesn’t need “enemies”.

Although judgment was delivered, the case was an anti-climax.

The judge said the Defence had proven special circumstances and stayed both the jail sentence and fine meted out.

It’s difficult to say whether there was politics at work, except agree that the gov’t would have been in a difficult position in the eyes of the public if the High Court had acquitted Najib.

Once he was found guilty on the first charge, the verdict on the other six charges was routine.

If all roads leads to Rome, it can only be said that Rome was Jho Low, not Najib.

If I was Agong, I will consider a Petition from Najib for Pardon, on grounds of “miscarriage of justice”.

Let’s not jump the gun.

Even so, Agong may eventually pardon Najib considering that Jho Low & Co conned him at least initially.

If that transpires, there will be closure, and all must accept. We can move forward.

True, Najib was Prime Minister, Finance Minister and headed 1MDB, but did he come up with all the conspiracies, plots and scams attributed to him?

Ironically, Najib may be headed for jail while Jho Low and others allegedly party to illegalities remain at large.

Why did all of them flee the country? They should be brought back and dragged to justice.

Unlike Mahathir who micromanages everything including landscaping in KL, Najib was not a details man.

He leaves everything, including his job, to others. He will never be a big crook like Mahathir.

Najib lives in a world of his own. He rested on his laurels, was complacent and took things for granted.

He’s not someone who monitors everything, makes notes, spotchecks and compares notes.

So, Jho Low & Co ran circles around him. When it was too late, he tried to do damage control and crisis management. He got into denial mode and buat tak tahu.

Now, his “elegant silence” has come back to bite him.

He should come clean and tell all he knows on Jho Low & Co and China. He should not cover up for Beijing.

Past is past. Mistakes can happen. It’s more important to learn from our mistakes and the experience of others.

Go for closure to move forward.

Actually the first charge against Najib, abuse of power, was flawed. This is fatal. The other six charges were related to the first charge. The Defence should have made a stronger case against the prosecution’s simplistic open and shut approach.

The RM42m was not released immediately after the RM4b. It was some two+ years later.

I don’t believe that Najib set out to defraud SRC.

Later, he may have gone along to maintain public confidence in gov’t.

Najib should have returned the RM42m when the matter became controversial. The judge pointed out that the money was not returned. He can still return the money. The sticking point was that he spent the money on corporate social responsibility activities and a small portion on gifts for foreign leaders.

Defence lawyer Shafee whatever should not have advanced the “conned by Jho Low” theory although initially it may have been true.

Najib was found guilty on all seven charges. Six charges were related to the first charge.

It’s amazing how the court used just one sentence to convict.

If it was a donation, the judge agreed with the prosecution that Najib did not thank the Saudi King. The prosecution’s claim is incomplete. Dead men tell no tales. Only the late Saudi King can tell whether Najib thanked him.

There were no novel developments in law in the RM42m SRC International case involving Najib. There was no emphasis on the spirit of the law and jurisprudence. The letter of the law alone is not law at all.

Let’s see how the Appeal goes. Najib would have to Apply for Leave to Appeal. He has to demonstrate that there were errors in facts, and errors in law.

In the Pulau Batu case for example, the ICJ found for Malaysia all the way. The facts could not be disputed.

At the last minute, the ICJ ruled that sovereignty had been transferred to Singapore

Of course, that was not a criminal case but the principle may be applicable.

I am more interested in how the court thinks.

If the matter goes for Appeal, what are the errors in facts and errors in law?

Since Najib was convicted, that means the judge didn’t believe him.

Najib will only be freed if the court gives him the benefit of the doubt.

If the court gives him the benefit of the doubt, it would rule that it would be unsafe to convict him.

Circumstantial evidence is worse than worthless in criminal cases.

The test of the burden of proof in criminal cases is “beyond reasonable doubt”.

The fatal flaw in the case is the non-appearance of the SRC International CEO in court.

The point in Najib’s favour was that he did not issue a statement from the dock. He was cross examined.

He spent many years in gov’t.

No court will interfere in the prerogative and discretionary powers of gov’t, and management (including companies), and on matters of high policy (read national security).

Prerogative and discretionary powers may not be unfettered but the jury is still out on whether courts can consider proof of abuse of power. The Doctrine of Separation of Powers refers.

The High Court should have confined itself to two issues viz. whether RM42m was transferred unlawfully from SRC International into Najib’s account; and whether the RM42m was spent on unlawful activities.

The account, which was handled by others, was apparently for political donations to be used for corporate social responsibility activities, political activities and political party financing.

The rest were just idle chatter in court, afterthoughts, thinking out aloud and grandmother’s stories. They should have been disregarded by the court.

By going beyond the two issues, the court was in breach of the Doctrine of Separation of Powers and treading on executive privilege.

All cases are about parties in conflict and issues in conflict. The court cannot depart from these two elements.

The court is not a coffeeshop where anything goes.

If the correct Test of the Burden of Proof was not applied in the case, the superior court can declare a mistrial and send it back to the High Court to be heard before another judge or hear the case.

In that case, the court records on the mistrial will have to be purged from the system as if they never existed.

Read further here . . .

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2020/07/28/shafee-says-high-court-judge-an-honest-man-who-made-honest-mistakes-in-his/1888984

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/07/28/najibs-src-trial-live-updates

Listen here . . .

7.30pm – Judge Nazlan Mohd Ghazali rules that the defence has successfully demonstrated special circumstances for a stay of execution on both the jail terms and RM210 million fine.

However, he says the bail amount needs to be increased by RM1 million with two sureties.

Najib will also have to report to the nearest police station on the 1st and 15th of every month.

He has until tomorrow to pay the additional RM1 million bail amount.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/536470

Najib recites ‘sumpah laknat’ again, denies knowledge of RM42m

5.30pm – After the defence and prosecution completed their submissions for mitigation, Najib addresses the court.

He begins with summarising his economic achievements during his tenure as prime minister.

“I ensured a fairer and gentler society. I was responsible for abolishing the ISA (Internal Security Act), which I was never given enough credit for. I wanted to ensure the country would not (be subjected to) abuse of power.

“In this regard, I put (forward) a proposal to implement a more transparent system for political donations. That proposal, unfortunately, requires bipartisan support, but the opposition at the time did not agree and the proposal did not see the light of day,” he says.

He ends his brief statement by reciting a “sumpah laknat” before declaring that he did not solicit RM42 million.

“I did not plan (the receipt of) RM42 million nor was RM42 million offered. There was no evidence or witnesses to state so.

“I had no knowledge of the RM42 million. Wallahu, Wabillahi, Watallahi,” he adds.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/536474

Court decisions bring closure, for better or worse.

They must be accepted.

If Umno quits the gov’t because Najib was convicted, it’s not respecting the rule of law, the basis of the Constitution.

Umno, no matter how many seats it has in Parliament, is in no position to wag its tail.

It can decide whether it wants to be in gov’t or return to the Opposition. If it returns to the Opposition, it cannot say it’s because of the Najib conviction.

Author: fernzthegreat

Joe Fernandez holds a honours degree in management, majoring in economics, and has opted from academia in law to being a jurist. He was trained professionally on the job as a journalist. He's a longtime Borneo watcher, keen on the history and legal aspects of Malaya's presence in Sabah and Sarawak. He teaches the English language privately and has emerged as a subject matter expert in public examination techniques.

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