Najib’s Lawyer in Fresh Bid to Disqualify Sri Ram as Prosecutor

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Lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah has filed an application to introduce fresh evidence showing that senior counsel Gopal Sri Ram cannot be appointed as deputy public prosecutor (DPP) under Section 376 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Shafee said the provision is only applicable to DPPs who were civil servants and who come under the Judicial and Legal Service.

The lawyer, who is appearing for former prime minister Najib Razak, said he had filed a motion to introduce new evidence following the Federal Court ruling on Aug 7.

He and Najib want to disqualify Sri Ram from prosecuting in any criminal cases that involve them.

Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, who led a seven-member bench, in dismissing Najib’s bid to stop Sri Ram from prosecuting in the 1MDB case, held that the ex-judge could lead the prosecution team in any criminal case assigned to him.

However, the bench ordered the prosecution to produce Sri Ram’s appointment letter as senior DPP and to extend a copy to Shafee, who appeared for Najib.

Shafee, who appeared before a Court of Appeal bench today to appeal against the ruling by then-High Court judge Azizah Nawawi in dismissing the judicial review by he and Najib, said the application to file fresh evidence was made yesterday.

Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan then asked the three-member bench, chaired by Hasnah Mohamed Hashim, for an adjournment, saying he needs time to reply to Shafee’s application.

“We were only served the sealed copies of the application to introduce the fresh evidence today,” he said.

Hasnah fixed Aug 26 to hear the application and appeal against Azizah’s ruling.

On Feb 20, Azizah said she would not entertain the judicial review application as the criminal High Court was also hearing a similar application by Shafee and Najib.

Sri Ram and another lawyer, Sulaiman Abdullah, were appointed by Attorney-General Tommy Thomas as DPPs in the 1MDB and SRC International Sdn Bhd cases last year.

Sri Ram has also been assigned to lead the prosecution in the International Petroleum Investment Co case involving Najib and former Treasury secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.

He is also assigned to prosecute Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, her son Riza Aziz and Najib’s former special officer Rizal Mansor for corruption and money laundering.

He has likewise been assigned to prosecute Shafee, who is facing four charges under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act for receiving RM9.5 million from Najib. – FMT