Shafee fails in bid to expunge affidavit alleging he accepted RM9.5m from Najib

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The Federal Court today struck out lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s application to obtain leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s refusal to expunge an affidavit containing the allegation that he had received RM9.5 million from Najib Razak.

A three-member panel led by Court of Appeal President Rohana Yusuf said all the matters that Shafee sought to raise in today’s proceedings can be raised in the appeals court hearing scheduled in March.

This was after Shafee’s counsel Harvinderjit Singh agreed to withdraw the leave to appeal application if parties were in agreement that the issue on the admissibility of the affidavit had not been determined.

“We strike out the leave to appeal application with no order to costs,” said Rohana in a brief proceeding that was conducted via a remote hearing.

Nallini Pathmanathan and Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal were the other judges who formed the panel.

Shafee sought leave to appeal the Court of Appeal’s refusal to expunge an affidavit by former attorney-general Tommy Thomas’ special task officer Siti Rahayu Mohd Mumazani and to cross-examine her.

Lawyer Gopal Sri Ram, appearing for Anwar Ibrahim, and senior federal counsel Suzana Atan for the government argued that Shafee’s leave application to appeal was premature as issues on the admissibility of the affidavit could be raised and determined in the Court of Appeal.

Najib faces four counts of abusing his position as then prime minister to obtain gratification totalling RM2.3 billion in 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same funds.

Shafee had framed two legal questions as a prerequisite for the apex court to hear his appeal.

Hari Anggara

They were on the relevance of Siti Rahayu’s affidavit and whether the bank could reveal his (Shafee) details to the government under the Financial Services Act.

The High Court in 2017 struck out Anwar’s originating summons on grounds that the case did not have any cause of action and was an abuse of the court process.

The PKR president filed the action, claiming he had not received a fair trial in the appeal against his sodomy conviction.

Anwar’s appeal in his Sodomy 2 suit against the government will be heard by the Court of Appeal on March 5.

On Nov 29, 2018, the Court of Appeal dismissed Shafee’s bid to expunge Siti Rahayu’s affidavit and to cross-examine her.

The court, however, allowed Shafee to intervene in Anwar’s appeal in his civil action against the government over his sodomy case.

Through the originating summons filed on June 9, 2017, against the government, Anwar seeks a declaration that his conviction by the Court of Appeal on March 7, 2014, contravened the Federal Constitution and thus was null and void.

He also wanted to nullify the Federal Court’s decision, which upheld his conviction.

In his affidavit, Anwar alleged that Shafee received RM9.5 million from Najib to lead the prosecution team in the appeal over his sodomy conviction.

He sought a declaration that his conviction by the Court of Appeal on March 7, 2014, was ultra vires the federal constitution and is thus null and void and also wanted a court order that the Federal Court’s decision in upholding the Court of Appeal’s decision was also null and void.

Anwar’s conviction and five-year jail term for sodomising Saiful were upheld by the Federal Court. Anwar, however, was given a full pardon by the king on May 16, 2018.

Lawyer J Leela also appeared for Anwar while senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan also appeared with Suzana for the government.