PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak says he will have a chance to clear his name, after the High Court ordered him to enter his defence over the RM42 million (S$13.8 million) SRC International case.
He said that he had decided to give his sworn statement in court and allow the prosecution to question him in the dock.
"My lawyers and I will be given a chance to call upon the defence witnesses for the first time in this case.
"Until now, only prosecution witnesses have been called and this time, the defence witnesses will be given a chance to give a picture on the real scenario and prove that I am innocent," he said in a post on Facebook.
Transparency International Malaysia president Muhammad Mohan said that while the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had said SRC International was a straightforward case, the public should not prejudge Najib.
"He is called to defend himself, so he is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
"So let him have the opportunity to tell his side of the story, " said Mr Muhammad.
Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism executive director Cynthia Gabriel said the trial had so far heard overwhelming testimonies on how the SRC - a former 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, subsidiary - was used for siphoning of funds and for personal gratification.
"Since it involves huge amounts of public funds, and as the Prime Minister then, he has little option but to defend himself in the court of law, " she said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he was shocked that Najib had expressed shock over the High Court's order for the former prime minister to enter his defence on seven charges in the SRC International trial.
"I am shocked that he is shocked. We follow the rule of law. He has a case to answer and the case took months. That is how we run the government," he said.
Tun Dr Mahathir said that Najib had a good hearing and was allowed to go on bail and help the campaigning in various by-elections.
"We will get all this nonsense from him because we are being lenient, following the rule of law," he said on Monday (Nov 11).
On allegations that he has interfered with court matters, Dr Mahathir said the person should provide proof.