Saturday, July 4

Najib to use former AG’s affidavit to challenge Sri Ram’s appointment

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Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah will use the affidavit in support by former Attorney-General (AG) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali in their judicial review applications to challenge the appointment of former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram in leading the prosecution team in their cases.

In the affidavit, Mohamed Apandi accused Sri Ram of trying to convince him to arrest Najib, who was the prime minister at that time, over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

Najib is using the same affidavit in his application to disqualify Sri Ram from leading the prosecution team in his 1MDB audit report case, and the presiding High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan has set Aug 7 to hear the application.

Muhammad Shafee, who is representing Najib, told reporters that they served a notice to use the affidavit  to the respondents yesterday.

“So the court has set July 6 for Sri Ram to reply to Mohamed Apandi’s affidavit and July 13 has been fixed for hearing,” he said after the matter came up before High Court Judge Datuk Seri Mariana Yahya in her chambers yesterday.

Muhammad Shafee said it is important for the court to hear the matter because Sri Ram is still prosecuting and if there is a problem with his appointment, then all the cases will be nullified.

Senior federal counsel (SFC) Shamsul Bolhassan represented the AG/Public Prosecutor, Government of Malaysia and Sri Ram as respondents.

The case was remitted to the High Court after the Federal Court on Oct 15, 2019 dismissed the AGC, Sri Ram and the government’s application for leave to appeal the appellate court’s decision that granted the duo permission to make the challenge.

Najib and Muhammad Shafee had separately filed for the judicial review in December 2018 to challenge the Attorney-General’s decision to appoint Sri Ram as a deputy public prosecutor under Section 376 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

They are seeking a court order to revoke Sri Ram’s appointment or recuse him, saying that his letter of appointment is invalid.

They are also seeking a declaration that there is a conflict of interest in Sri Ram’s appointment and request for an order to prohibit him from leading the prosecution team in all of their cases, including on corruption, abuse of power and money laundering.

Mohamed Apandi, in his affidavit, alleged that on a late afternoon in January 2018, Sri Ram went to his house at Jalan Dutamas here, after he (Sri Ram) had made a couple of calls wanting to speak to him personally and privately.

“He (Sri Ram) said, “Tun M (former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) sent me to see you” and he continued, “He (Tun M) wants you to arrest Najib at his office, you go tomorrow at 2 pm, we have arranged for the police in Putrajaya to do what is necessary on your instruction. We have also arranged for a Magistrate to issue the remand order when he is brought before him or her”,” the former AG said.

Mohamed Apandi alleged that Sri Ram told him that he will be a hero in the eyes of the people and will be the first AG to arrest a sitting prime minister and that they have laid the ground plans and all he (Sri Ram) needs now is for him to agree.

The former AG contended that Sri Ram had a mission with a clear bias against Najib and all of his cases. — Bernama