Court of Appeal sets Nov 8 to decide on Najib and Shafee's bid to disqualify Sri Ram

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has fixed Nov 8 to deliver its decision in an appeal filed by Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah to disqualify Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram from leading the prosecution in their cases.

Justice Yaacob Md Sam said the decision was deferred to that date for the panel to reread the submission from the parties involved.

"We will deliver our decision on Nov 8 at 9.30am," he said during the Zoom proceeding on Thursday (Sept 23).

Two other judges on the panel were justices Lee Heng Cheong and Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali.

The court had earlier heard submissions from Muhammad Shafee, who represented Najib, and lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, who represented Muhammad Shafee.

Meanwhile, Senior Federal Counsel Shamsul Bolhassan appeared for the respondents; the government, Attorney General and Sri Ram.

Najib and Muhammad Shafee are appealing against a Kuala Lumpur High Court decision on Aug 28 last year on their judicial review applications to challenge the validity of Sri Ram's appointment as a senior deputy public prosecutor in their criminal court cases.

In her decision, High Court judge Justice Mariana Yahya, who is now a Court of Appeal judge, said the appointment of Sri Ram by then attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas was valid.

Najib filed the judicial review application to disqualify Sri Ram in his 1MDB-linked cases in December 2018 while Muhammad Shafee also filed a judicial review application to recuse Sri Ram from his RM9.5mil money laundering trial.

They sought a court order to revoke Sri Ram’s appointment or recuse him, on grounds that his letter of appointment was invalid.

They also want a declaration that there was a conflict of interest in Sri Ram's appointment and requested an order to prohibit him from leading the prosecution team in all of their cases, including corruption, abuse of power and money laundering.

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