Attorney General Tan Sri Idris Harun said permanent deputy public prosecutors (DPPs) will take over the cases related to 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s corruption appeal following Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram’s death.
He told the Free Malaysia Today news portal this in response to rumours that another fiat prosecutor would be appointed to replace the former Federal Court judge and ad hoc prosecutor who died yesterday.
“I have full confidence in the prosecution teams,” he said to the news portal via text message.
Earlier, it was reported that the prosecution team had requested for the 1MDB trial to be deferred for today and tomorrow.
Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib this morning informed the High Court that although today was scheduled for the continued hearing of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial, they were asking for a postponement.
Najib’s lead defence lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, said he had no objections in light of the sudden event and extended condolences to the prosecution team.
Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah then allowed the prosecution’s request and said the trial will resume this Thursday morning with the continued cross-examination of 41st prosecution witness and former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu.
Najib’s 1MDB trial over the misappropriation of RM2.28 billion of 1MDB funds was initially scheduled to be heard today, tomorrow, Thursday and Friday for this week.
Shafee today told the judge that he had previously said the defence may take about two or three days more to cross-examine Yu, but now said they would probably be able to complete her cross-examination within one-and-a-half days or by this Friday.
Yesterday afternoon, Sri Ram — who was the lead prosecutor for the 1MDB trial — died at the age of 79 in a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur, following a lung infection.
Apart from the 1MDB trial, Sri Ram was also the lead prosecutor for Najib’s trial over the alleged tampering of the auditor-general’s 2016 report on 1MDB.
Sri Ram was also the lead prosecutor for Rosmah’s trial over the soliciting and receiving of millions of ringgit in bribes in exchange for helping to secure a RM1.25 billion contract, and her separate money-laundering trial — which has yet to start — involving over RM7 million. – MMO