Former Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, who is currently incarcerated, has petitioned the UNWGAD (United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention) for his release or a new trial in the SRC International case.
Najib’s attorney, Shafee Abdullah, insisted during a press conference that the former Pekan MP’s Federal Court appeal had “severe faults” and violated the “principles of international justice.”
After the Supreme Court upheld Najib’s judgement and sentencing in the SRC case, he began serving his 12-year prison sentence in August. According to Shafee, the UNWGAD’s inaugural meeting will commence soon.
“I am unsure of how quickly they will decide on the petition,” he remarked, adding that the defence team might send Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim a copy of the petition, who he claimed was a big supporter of the UNWGAD.
He added, “As a courtesy, a copy has been submitted to the International Affairs Division of the Attorney-General’s Chambers’.
According to him, the defence team still plans to move on with the SRC review application, which is set to be heard in Federal Court between January 19 and January 26 despite the UNWGAD filing.
“We now know that six judges of the Federal Court are qualified to hear the review. We are fine with a five-judge panel. The defence had earlier asked for a seven-judge coram,” he confirmed.
Shafee also made a comparison between Najib’s situation and that of Luiz de Silva, the president of Brazil, who was imprisoned but then freed on the recommendation of UNWGAD.
De Silva, also known as Lula, served as president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010, and he was the subject of an extensive corruption investigation. His trial had breached due process, according to a UNWGAD statement from April of last year.
Following the general election in the South American nation, Lula was freed and elected president.