Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad denied that he had insisted Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah lead the prosecution team in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s 2015 appeal against his Sodomy II conviction.
- Shafee warned him that then A-G Abdul Gani Patail would not be able to secure a conviction.
- The lawyer wanted so much to be A-G
Mahathir said Shafee had approached him and complained that then A-G Abdul Gani Patail could not win the case for the prosecution.
“Shafee wanted so much to become the A-G. He came to see me. He said the A-G cannot win against Anwar in Sodomy II,” Mahathir told reporters at the PPBM headquarters yesterday when asked about Shafee’s claim that it was Mahathir’s idea for him to lead the prosecution of Anwar.
“I told him, if he can win then he tell Najib lah. That time I was still friendly with Najib,” he said.
Mahathir claimed that Shafee had previously wanted the post of A-G and had sought his help on the matter.
Shafee had alleged that it was Mahathir who pushed him to become the special prosecutor in Anwar’s Sodomy II appeal.
He claimed that Mahathir did not have confidence in the Attorney General’s Chambers to competently manage the appeal.
He said that Najib was not keen on the idea of appointing him as the prosecutor because he did not want to offend Abdul Gani.
Eventually, Najib agreed.
Shafee also alleged the appointment was one of the six demands made by Mahathir to Najib in exchange for continued support for his administration.
The Umno lawyer successfully secured the prosecution’s case at the Court of Appeal and Federal Court level.
Anwar was charged and convicted with sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. He was eventually jailed in February 2015 and spent more than three years serving his five-year jail term, before he was released following a royal pardon in the aftermath of the May 9 polls.
However, Anwar is still challenging the validity of the Sodomy II trial on the grounds that Najib had paid Shafee RM9.5 million for the job.
Anwar argued that since he and Najib were political rivals, the payment had compromised the trial.
Yesterday, Shafee was charged in court over that very payment, which prosecutors claim originated from dirty money.
Shafee has alleged that the trial was politically motivated.