PUTRAJAYA — Aug. 16, 2019: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah have filed an application to introduce new evidence in their appeals to disqualify former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as deputy public prosecutor in their cases.
Today Shafee told the Court of Appeal three-member bench that he and Najib had filed the notice yesterday to seek leave to include Sri Ram’s letter of appointment as the new evidence.
He received a copy of Sri Ram’s appointment letter on August 9, following a Federal Court decision on Aug. 7 to allow Najib’s appeal for the prosecution to produce Sri Ram’s letter to the defence.
On Aug. 7, a Federal Court seven-member bench led by Chief Justice Datuk Seri Utama Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat dismissed Najib’s appeal to disqualify Sri Ram to lead the prosecution team as senior deputy public prosecutor in Najib’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad trial.
Shafee argued that Sri Ram should not have been appointed under Section 376 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code as that section applies only to deputy public prosecutors. Instead Sri Ram should have been appointed only on ad hoc basic.
Justice Datuk Hasnah Mohammed Hashim, who chaired the bench, fixed Aug. 26 to hear the applications and appeals after allowing senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan’s request for an adjournment.
“There is a Certificate of Urgency filed, which means this matter must be heard early,” said Hasnah who presided with Datuk Lau Bee Lan and Datuk Has Zanah Mehat.
Shamsul informed the court that he needed time to decide if an affidavit-in-reply should be filed. He will notify the court and Shafee by Wednesday if there was no necessity for this.
Hasnah also reminded Shafee to file his written submissions by Aug. 20.
Najib and Shafee are appealing against a High Court dismissal on February 20 of their application for leave for a judicial review to challenge Sri Ram’s appointment as head of the prosecution team in their cases.
They sought an order to revoke or recuse the appointment of Sri Ram by stating that his letter of appointment was invalid.
They also sought a declaration that there was a conflict of interest in Sri Ram’s appointment and requested for an order to prohibit Sri Ram from leading the prosecution. — Bernama