PUTRAJAYA: “My pet dog jumped on me. I am now in pain and I need to seek immediate medical attention.”This was the reason Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (pic), the lead counsel for Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, gave the three-man panel at the Court of Appeal yesterday on why he could not continue with his submission for the day, as he recently fractured his left wrist.
A hearing on the appeal filed by Najib relating to his criminal charges involving SRC International Sdn Bhd funds will now continue on Friday.
Attorney General Tommy Thomas stood up to object the postponement, saying his office was under public pressure for Najib’s trial to begin as soon as possible.
“Everyone wants the trial to start as early as tomorrow. There is enormous pressure on the prosecution team.
“In fact, there is global pressure on us for the trial to start. I understand the counsel has a problem but on the other hand, we are under scrutiny as to why the trial hasn’t begin,” said Thomas.
Muhammad Shafee then suggested that the hearing continue on Friday as Thomas was not available on Thursday.
Court of Appeal judge Justice Zabariah Mohd Yusof, who chaired the panel, agreed to the suggestion.
Justices Rhodzariah Bujang and Lau Bee Lan also sat on the panel.
The Court of Appeal was scheduled to hear four appeals by Najib related to his SRC International case.The four interlocutory appeals are on his application for a gag order to prohibit the media and the public from discussing the merit of his criminal cases; his application for the recovery of documents and statements; withdrawal of certificate of transfer; and his challenge on the appointment of lawyer Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah as the lead prosecutor in his seven charges pertaining to SRC International.
The hearing later continued with co-counsel Harvinderjit Singh’s submissions after Muhammad Shafee left the court.
During submission later, the prosecution questioned the rationale for Najib, who is seeking all the statements and documents relating to the SRC International case.
DPP Datuk V. Sithambaram, who is appointed by the Attorney General’s Chambers, submitted that Najib applied to obtain all documents, including documents that the prosecution would not be using in its case against him.
He said if Najib’s appeal was allowed by the court, the prosecution would have to hand over investigation papers on the SRC International case collected during investigation under the Section 30(9) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and Section 40 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
“The pivotal question to be asked in this appeal is whether the prosecution is bound to supply the documents not provided for under Section 51A of the Criminal Procedure Code. We submit not,” he said yesterday.
Sithambaram said the appeal was about the delivery of the documents by the prosecution to the defence at the pre-trial stage.
“This appeal is not about the admissibility of the documents at the trial stage, as contended by the appellant in this appeal.
“The rationale for this argument by the appellant is premised on his contention that these statements and documents are automatically admissible at the trial and thus must be delivered to the defence at the pre-trial stage,” he said.
The prosecution, he added, had delivered 31 volumes of documents amounting to about 6,500 pages, which it intended to use as part of the evidence for the prosecution.