Court to decide Wednesday (Feb 20) bid by Najib, Muhammad Shafee to recuse Gopal Sri Ram from heading prosecution

  • Nation
  • Monday, 18 Feb 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has fixed this Wednesday (Feb 20) to decide on a leave application filed by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah in their bid to recuse Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram from leading the prosecution in their cases.

High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Azizah Nawawi set the date after hearing submissions from both parties in her chambers here on Monday (Feb 18).

When met by reporters later, Senior Federal Counsel Shamsul Bolhassan said the prosecution has raised its preliminary objection on grounds of multiplicity of actions.

“There is already a motion filed in the criminal court asking for the same reliefs, where there is a challenge on the appointment of Sri Ram as the senior prosecutor and also the production of his appointment letter.

“We contend that the matter should go back to the criminal court to be heard,” he said.

Harvinderjit Singh, who represented Muhammad Shafee, said the issues brought before the two courts were different.

At the civil court, Harvinderjit said they have raised the issue of whether the appointment of Sri Ram was legal, proper and reasonable.

“At the criminal court, we are dealing with the issue of recusal or disqualification, whether it was proper for a person such as Sri Ram to continue dealing on the matter.

“That is the submission that we took to court,” he added.

Najib and Muhammad Shafee both filed for leave to initiate a judicial review to challenge the appointment of Sri Ram as the lead prosecutor for their respective criminal cases.

On Aug 31, last year, Attorney General Tommy Thomas announced the appointment of Sri Ram, a retired former federal court judge, as the lead prosecutor in the prosecution against Najib's 1MDB and its related cases.

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