Najib loses appeal to disqualify Sri Ram as lead prosecutor


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 7 May 2019

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic) failed in his appeal to disqualify former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as lead prosecutor in his 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) cases.

A three-member Court of Appeal bench comprising Zabariah Mohd Yusof, Rhodzariah Bujang and Lau Bee Lan ruled that the matter was not appealable by virtue of Section 50(1) read with section 3 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.

In delivering the decision, Justice Zabariah said the court allowed the prosecution's preliminary objection to strike out Najib's appeal.

She said the court was of the view that the High Court's decision to disallow the defence to see Sri Ram's letter of appointment and for Sri Ram to continue to act as prosecutor in Najib's case, was made in the course of the trial which did not finally dispose his rights.

"We fail to see how this would affect the appellant's (Najib) right to have a fair trial," she said.

Justice Zabariah said assuming they were wrong in their determination on the preliminary objection, they also proceeded to consider the merit of Najib's appeal.

She said since Sri Ram's letter of appointment was shown to Najib's counsel, hence the court did not see the basis of his (Najib's) application for the production of the letter of appointment.

"We find that the High Court judge did not err in his finding that the prosecution is not obliged to produce Sri Ram's letter of appointment to Najib," she said.

Zabariah said there was also no evidence to show that Sri Ram was involved in the investigation against Najib apart from the bare allegation made by him (Najib).

She said Sri Ram, like any deputy public prosecutor, was entitled to supervise and oversee an investigation to a particular case but not to investigate the case himself.

Najib has been charged with four counts as a public officer, namely prime minister, finance minister and 1MDB chairman, of using his position to attain gratification for himself.

The Pekan MP also faces 21 allegations of money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds from Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amla), involving 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28bil. –Bernama

1MDB , Najib Razak , Gopal Sri Ram , court