PUTRAJAYA: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah have filed applications 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.
Shafee told the Court of Appeal three-member bench yesterday that they had filed the notice of motion to seek leave to include Sri Ram’s letter of appointment as new evidence in their appeals.
He said he received a copy of the appointment letter on Aug 9, following a Federal Court’s decision on Aug 7 to allow Najib’s appeal for the prosecution to produce Sri Ram’s letter of appointment to the defence.
On Aug 7, the Federal Court seven-member bench led by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat had dismissed Najib’s appeal to disqualify Sri Ram to lead the prosecution team as senior deputy public prosecutor in his 1Malaysia Development Bhd trial.
Shafee told the court yesterday 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, he said Sri Ram should be appointed on an ad hoc basis.
Justice Hasnah Mohammed Hashim, who chaired the bench, then fixed Aug 26 for the hearing of 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 Justice Hasnah who presided with Justices Lau Bee Lan and Has Zanah Mehat.
Shamsul, who appeared for the Attorney General/Public Prosecutor, the government and Sri Ram, said that he needed time to decide whether an affidavit-in-reply should be filed.
He said he would undertake to notify the court and Shafee by next Wednesday if there was no necessity to file the affidavit.
Justice Hasnah also reminded Shafee to file his written submissions by Aug 20.
Najib and Shafee are appealing against the High Court’s dismissal on Feb 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.
Najib and Shafee separately filed the judicial review in December last year naming the Attorney General/Public Prosecutor, the government and Sri Ram as respondents.
They sought a court 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 a court order to prohibit him from leading the prosecution team in all their cases. — Bernama