KUALA LUMPUR, 21st April – Judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali – who heard and sentenced former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for embezzling RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd funds – has filed a police report on false allegations made against him, the judiciary confirmed today.
The Judiciary, through the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court, referred to a post by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin on the Malaysia Today blog, the post dated April 20 bearing the title “Judge Mohd Nazlan under investigation for an unexplained amount of RM1 million in his bank account”.
The judiciary said the judge – who was previously a High Court judge and was elevated to a Court of Appeal judge – said the article had malicious intent and baseless allegations.
“A police report was written by YA Dato’ Mohd Nazlan bin Mohd Ghazali, Judge of the Court of Appeal, denying the false, baseless and malicious accusations contained in this article which were intended to reduce his credibility as a judge of the Court of Appeal and to interfere with the judicial system and the judicial institution.
“This police report has also been drawn up so that inquiries can be made under Section 500 of the Criminal Code, Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and other related statutory provisions. “, he said in a statement today.
Section 500 provides for a maximum prison sentence of two years or a fine or both for the offense of criminal defamation.
Section 233 covers the offense of misusing network facilities or network services, including creating or initiating transmission of any obscene, indecent, false, threatening or offensive comment with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person. This offense is punishable by a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment for up to one year or both if convicted and an additional fine of RM1,000 per day for each day the offence. offense continues after conviction.
“This Office takes these accusations and comments seriously and reminds the public that accusations against the judiciary that seek to interfere with cases that are still pending are a violation of the principle of sub judice.
“This Office also urges the police to conduct investigations immediately to maintain public confidence in the country’s judicial institution and to ensure that the administration of justice can be properly conducted,” he concluded.
Earlier, on March 14, Najib’s lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, insisted the CBC trial judge should have recused himself, saying he had only recently discovered Nazlan’s role in 2012 in as Maybank Company Secretary and Group General Counsel when the bank provided loans to 1Malaysia Development Berhad. (1MDB).
While Shafee claimed to have barely discovered Nazlan’s previous position at Maybank, it has been reported in the news since August 2018.
Shafee had described SRC as a wholly owned subsidiary of 1MDB, but SRC was only under the ownership of 1MDB for several months from August 2011 to February 2012, while the SRC lawsuit also did not involve Maybank loans to 1MDB and instead involved misappropriation of RM42 million allegedly from RM4 billion in loans from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) to the SRC.
Also on March 14, allegations against Nazlan appeared in two online articles, including on the portal MalaysiaNow and the blog malaysia today.
On March 16, the judiciary had confirmed the filing of a police report against the allegations in the March 14 articles to allow investigations for criminal defamation and legal provisions such as Article 233.
Nazlan was the judge who heard Najib’s SRC trial in the High Court which started in April 2019 and returned the guilty verdict in July 2020 against Najib. Nazlan was appointed as a judge on the Court of Appeals in February 2022.
Following the July 2020 High Court decision which found Najib guilty of misappropriating the RM42 million from the CBC, the three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal had also on 8 December 2021 upheld to the condemnation of Najib as well as the fine and the prison sentence.
Najib filed an appeal with the Federal Court on December 8, 2021.
The attacks on Nazlan as a CBC trial judge had begun to emerge more than a year and a half after his July 2020 verdict that found Najib guilty, or in other words just three months after the Court of Appeal also upheld the conviction.
No hearing date has yet been set for Najib’s appeal to the Federal Court, as it is still in the preliminary stages.
Najib’s lawyers also intend to bring in a UK Queen’s Counsel to represent him in the CBC appeal. Queen’s Counsel is a term generally referring to senior experienced solicitors in the UK who handle more complex cases.