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Najib Drops Shafee As His Lead Counsel In SRC International Case But Denies 'Ditching' Him

The former prime minister's new representative, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, has appeared in several high-profile cases, such as representing Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who was accused of murdering Kim Jong-nam in 2017.

Cover image via Free Malaysia Today

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Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has made the decision to drop his current legal team and go for Zaid Ibrahim Suffian TH Liew & Partners to represent him in the SRC International appeal at the Federal Court

According to New Straits Times, Najib made this decision after consulting with Singaporean lawyers and senior advocates from India.

Additionally, when the Queen's Counsel Jonathan Laidlaw was not allowed to appear to fight his case, Najib said that it became another factor in influencing his decision to change his counsel.

However, despite the change, his previous law firm, Shafee & Co., will still continue to handle his other corruption cases.

Najib expressed confidence in his newly appointed legal team and thanked his previous law firm for their commitment and effort in ensuring that he had a fair trial, reported New Straits Times.

He also felt that it was unfair for the media to report that he had a falling out or ditched Shafee & Co.

Following this turnover, Najib's new legal team wants the Federal Court to reschedule the hearing of his SRC International appeal which is scheduled to begin on 15 August

Free Malaysia Today reported that the law firm requested the court to hold a case management on 29 July so that the new defence team is able to update and obtain further instructions from the Federal Court.

Leading the counsel and representing Najib in the Federal Court is Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, who has 45 years of experience and has appeared in several high-profile criminal cases, such as representing Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong who was accused of murdering Kim Jong-nam in 2017.

Najib is currently facing seven charges of abuse of power, corruption, and money laundering involving RM42 million from SRC International, a former subsidiary of sovereign wealth fund 1MDB

He was sentenced to 12 years in jail by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on 28 July 2020.

On 8 December last year, the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the High Court's verdict.

Najib is now awaiting trial in the Federal Court, which is the last stage of trial at the final appellate court. Should he be found guilty, he would go to jail unless he receives a royal pardon from the Agong.

Read more about the SRC International case here: