Although it has been over four months since former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was imprisoned, Najib still seems eager to look for a way out from the bars.
Yesterday (5 January), Najib, through his attorney, Shafee Abdullah, submitted a petition with the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) to seek his release from prison or a retrial of his SRC International Sdn Bhd case.
In a press conference, Shafee insisted that Najib’s Federal Court appeal had ‘severe faults’ and violated the ‘rules of international justice’.
“The title of that complaint will obviously be Datuk Seri Najib Razak vs Malaysia because we are taking the country to the UN because we are saying that the country has failed in not giving Datuk Seri Najib the fair trial that he deserves,” he said.
Not to decide if Najib is guilty but to determine if Najib was given a fair trial
According to Shafee, the UNWGAD is expected to have its first 2023 seating soon.
He said the UNWGAD comprises five distinguished human rights judges and they will not decide if Najib is guilty but to determine whether his trial was fair and if not, may call upon the government to release him or provide him with a retrial.
“Although this decision is not directly binding, it is very influential especially as Malaysia has a distinguished jurist who is currently a member of the working group,” Shafee said.
“How fast they will decide on the petition, I can’t be certain,” he added.
Meanwhile, Shafee said that since Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is a staunch supporter of the UNWGAD, the defence team can send him a copy of the appeal.
“A copy has been sent to the Attorney-General Chambers’ International Affairs Division as a courtesy,” Shafee said.
He added that although the defence team has filed the petition, they intend to proceed with the SRC International review application scheduled to be heard in the Federal Court between 19 and 26 January.