Hadi Azmi

Hadi Azmi



Good morning from the Palace of Justice. After a three-day break, we are back to hear the final appeal of Najib Razak before the Federal Court. The day is Tuesday, a day named after Tyr, the god of law and justice in Norse mythology.

A lot happened over the last weekend and Monday. Najib shared a forlorn message about feeling betrayed and lonely, then he went and tempted divine wrath over his ‘sumpah laknat’ – his third, if I remember correctly – and that whole thing with Umno yesterday.

Our friends at Gazette got a visual of Najib leaving his Pavilion condo at 9am today.

Our friends at Awani reported that 10 busses of Najib’s supporters arrived at the Palace of Justice this morning to show their support.

Najib arrived.

Najib is on his iPad, noting something down. Next to him is his son Nizar Najib.

Court is in session.

Hisyam Teh informed the court that they have filed a motion to recuse the Chief Justice.

"I say this with the greatest of respect, it’s raised as a point of law. It’s not an attack… based on certain information about two of this panel, it is incumbent on the appellant to make this application" - Hisyam Teh

Hisyam wants the recusal application to be heard first, CJ insisted that he instead respond to the prosecution’s argument on Friday over his refusal to submit. Hisyam initially refused, wanting things his way. “Tuan Haji, we are not here to waste time.” - CJ

Court will deliberate on the recusal after Hisyam respond to the prosecution’s argument last Friday on what the court ought to do with the defence’s refusal to submit.

It appears that Najib is attempting to drag this matter of Chief Justice recusal further. They filed a second application to “adjourn main appeal pending disposal of recusal matter”. Basically postpone the actual hearing while this recusal thing is argued.

Hisyam argued that his right to submit have been denied. CJ - “We have asked you many many times for you to submit.” Hisyam argued that since he was not allowed to prepare, therefore he is being denied the right to make a “meaningfully submission”.

Court stand down to prepare for the recusal application.

Najib is basis his application on the Chief Justice’s husband’s Facebook posting from 2018, after the result of that year’s election where he… talked smack about Najib. There is a “real danger of bias”, said Najib in his affidavit.

Basically Najib is arguing that a woman can’t think independently and not be influenced by her husband.

Really, just that Facebook post. That’s the whole argument.

Some insights:

Court is back in session.

Hisyam Teh asking for an extra 10 minutes. Apparently Shafee Abdullah is coming back to assist him. “I though he has been discharged?” - CJ

CJ told Hisyam to start first, Shafee can join in when he arrives.

We are now listening to Hisyam Teh argue why the CJ is ought to recuse herself from hearing the case.

Shafee is here, talking to the bench, explaining his position. He said he removed himself from representing Najib because he was unhappy with Zaid Ibrahim’s team. “The lawyer from Singapore knows nothing about criminal law.”

CJ asked what’s the point of this whole story and told Shafee to go on with it. Shafee asked for adjournment to tomorrow morning so that he can submit because he came from a symposium and don’t have his papers with him.

“Even my suit is not the right suit. I came straight from parliament.” He asked for a few hours postponement so he can prepare.

Courtroom sketch of Shafee Abdullah coming to court in the wrong suit.

Sithambaram is not happy. “This is purely to delay the case. I object to adjournment.”

Shafee said he needs to go to parlimen by 230pm because he got his symposium where some California people are joining over Zoom. So he cannot argue today. He denied attempting to “scuttle” the hearing, as accused by Sitham.

“We find no reason to adjourn.” - CJ

Shafee said he’ll come back tomorrow to testify. CJ said there’s no adjournment. Shafee said he heard her loud and clear but in case it continues to tomorrow, he will be court first thing in the morning. “That’s entirely up to you” - CJ

CJ added that if the court concludes its business today there’s no reason for Shafee to come tomorrow.

Shafee left. Adjournment rejected, so now Hisyam is left to argue this recusal thing himself.

Just a reminder that this is real life.

Hisyam is arguing that the CJ condoned the Bar Council to conduct a march in support of Justice Nazlan recently. CJ is not having it.

Sitam: “This application is mala fide, done to scuttle this proceeding” He questioned why this was not brought up four years ago. For the record this hearing started in April 2019.

Sitham pointed out that the Zamani posts emerged last week and questioned why the defence only filed it last night without indicating to court.

“This is the clearest definition of mala fide.” - Sithambaram

Sitham is done arguing, Hisyam stood up to respond.

Court standing down. Judges deliberating on the recusal application.

Yeah so this happened earlier:

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