Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will never try to withdraw his criminal charges, but would want his reputation cleared by going to court proceedings, his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah reported today.
Shafee was asked if Najib should write in to the Attorney-General ‘s Chambers (AGC) and send in a request for his charges to be checked, citing Najib’s stepson Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz ‘s achievement in having a conditional release from money-laundering charges after submitting these representations.
Shafee noted that Najib has repeatedly said he would never like to see his charges withdrawn as in Lim Guan Eng ‘s former graft case over a land transaction in Penang.
Datuk Seri Najib said he never intend to do this, he intend acquittal by the course of trial. At least in the SRC situation, the appeal is numbered, it’s finished. So, if he fails in the High Court, he must proceed all the way to the Federal Court. He deserves to make his legacy clear through the legal process.
On the 35th day of Najib ‘s trial, Shafee was speaking to reporters involving over RM2 billion of 1Malaysia Development Berhad ( 1MDB) funds.
In fact, last May 14, the Sessions Court issued Riza a discharge not amounting to an acquittal over five charges of money laundering for more than US$ 248 million (RM1.08 billion by today’s exchange rate) reportedly misappropriated from 1Malaysia Creation Berhad (1MDB), despite an deal between the prosecution and Riza that would require millions of ringgit to be charged to the Malaysian government.
While the size of the deal was not originally stated, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission subsequently said it would lead in the planned recovery of overseas properties implicated in the offenses to an approximate amount of US$ 107.3 million (RM465.3 million) by the Malaysian government.
Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun later said it will result in the estimated recovery of about US$ 108 million from the Malaysian government (subject to any profits from the selling of properties that Riza will have to relinquish his rights to and after deduction of related costs) being paid into the 1MDB Asset Recovery Trust Account.
The case of Riza sparked doubts from critics including former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the federal opposition Pakatan Harapan, with issues posed as to whether his detention will be a template in future for other high-profile corruption cases.