Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Shafee Again Questions Sri Ram’s Appointment

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Shafee told the High Court that the 1MBD trial could be nullified, restarted, or that his client could be acquitted depending on the Court of Appeal’s decision concerning Sri Ram’s appointment.

Despite a pending appeal in court, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s defence team once again cast a spotlight on the prosecution’s appointment of retired judge-turned-practising-lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram to lead the charge against the former prime minister accused of stealing RM2.3 billion from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

In his opening remarks, Najib’s lead lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told the High Court today that the entire 1MBD trial could be nullified, restarted, or that his client could be acquitted depending on the Court of Appeal’s decision concerning Gopal’s appointment in place of Public Prosecutor Tommy Thomas who recused himself to prevent public perceptions of a conflict of interest in the case.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

“I’m not asking for an adjournment, I’m not asking for a stay, but I want to make that statement,” Shafee said in his preamble.

In response, Gopal pointed out that his appointment was not merely a High Court decision but had gone through “various levels”.

He added that it was still too early to discuss the matter, and that the prosecution would continue with its case.

The Court of Appeal had earlier this week granted permission for a judicial review challenging the legality of Gopal to prosecute Najib in 1MDB and related cases.

Both Najib and Shafee had filed separate applications last December to disqualify Gopal from acting as prosecutor, claiming it violated the Criminal Procedure Code.


Earlier reports:

Aug 28, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Gopal Sri Ram’s Full Opening Statement

Aug 28, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Prosecution to Show Saudi Donations a Sham

Aug 28, Najib’s 1 MDB Trial: Prosecution to Prove Jho Low Was Najib’s Alter Ego

Aug 28, Najib’s 1MDB Trial Begins