Najib, Shafee fail to obtain leave to challenge Sri Ram's appointment as prosecutor

PUTRAJAYA: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah have failed to obtain leave to appeal their bid to challenge the appointment of Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as prosecutor in their respective criminal cases.

A three-man panel of the Federal Court, chaired by Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh, dismissed both applications by Najib and Muhammad Shafee in a unanimous decision here on Monday (May 23).

Other judges on the panel were Justices P. Nallini Pathmanathan and Vernon Ong Lam Kiat.

Justice Mohd Zawawi said the apex court had considered both the written and oral submissions in the applications.

To obtain leave to appeal, he said the court must be deciding on legal questions that have not been decided previously by the courts.

ALSO READ: Najib fails in bid to recuse Sri Ram

"We are of the considered opinion that the question in this application has been decided by the Court of Appeal in the case of the public prosecutor against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and affirmed and endorsed by this court in the case of Anwar against the public prosecutor.

"As the law is settled, we have no reason to depart from the findings of the previous court," he said.

Justice Mohd Zawawi then dismissed the application with no order as to costs.

ALSO READ: Najib, Shafee lose appeal in bid to disqualify Sri Ram as lead prosecutor in their cases

On Nov 8, Najib and Muhammad Shafee lost their bids in the Court of Appeal to disqualify Sri Ram as senior deputy public prosecutor in their respective cases.

On Aug 28, 2020, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur dismissed the judicial review applications by Najib and Muhammad Shafee to remove Sri Ram, a former Federal Court judge, as senior DPP in their respective cases.

Najib filed the judicial review application to disqualify Sri Ram as the senior DPP in his 1MDB-linked cases in December 2018.

Muhammad Shafee, who is also Najib's counsel, also filed for a judicial review as he too was seeking to recuse Sri Ram from his RM9.5mil money-laundering trial.

The duo sought a court order to revoke Sri Ram's appointment or recuse him, saying 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 on corruption, abuse of power and money laundering.

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