QC files appeal against High Court’s dismissal for him to represent Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: Queen’s Counsel (QC) Jonathan Laidlaw has filed an appeal at the Federal Court against the High Court’s decision that dismissed his application to be admitted as an advocate and solicitor in order for him to represent Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the SRC International Sdn Bhd appeal.

The notice of appeal was filed through Messrs Shafee & Co here on Monday (Aug 22), a day before the SRC International appeal was concluded at the Federal Court.

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In the notice, Laidlaw said he was appealing against the entirety of the decision by Justice Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, which was delivered on July 21 and without costs.

Laidlaw is appealing the decision to the apex court under Section 19 of the Legal Profession Act 1976.

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In his dismissal, Justice Ahmad Kamal ruled that there were no complex issues in the appeal that would require the QC’s participation.

He said the applicant failed to satisfy the threshold under Section 18(1) of the Legal Profession Act (LPA) 1976.

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On May 31, Laidlaw filed a notice of originating motion through Messrs Shafee & Co at the High Court for his admission as a lawyer in Malaysia.

It said that Najib, as the appellant in the SRC appeal, had sought to engage Laidlaw’s professional services to act as lead counsel in the appeal.

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It said that Laidlaw was eligible and qualified to be admitted and enrolled to practise as an advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaya, pursuant to Section 18(1) of the LPA 1976 to appear as counsel for Najib in the appeal and all other causes or matters related to the appeal.

On July 28, 2020, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali (now a Court of Appeal judge) convicted and sentenced Najib on seven charges involving criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of position, involving SRC funds, totalling RM42mil.

He was sentenced to 12 years’ jail and a fine of RM210mil.

The conviction and sentence were upheld by the Court of Appeal and subsequently upheld by the Federal Court on Tuesday (Aug 23).