Sri Ram to remain as prosecutor

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram will remain as prosecutor in the criminal cases involving former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

This is following the decision of the Federal Court yesterday to throw out the duo’s application for leave to appeal their bid to challenge the appointment of Sri Ram, a prominent lawyer and retired judge, as prosecutor of their respective cases.

A three-man panel of the Federal Court, chaired by Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh, unanimously dismissed both applications by Najib and Muhammad Shafee.

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

Justice Mohd Zawawi said in order to obtain leave to appeal, the apex court must decide on legal questions that had not been decided previously by the courts.

“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.

Matter solved: Najib and Shafee had earlier filed judicial review applications to disqualify Sri Ram from their cases.Matter solved: Najib and Shafee had earlier filed judicial review applications to disqualify Sri Ram from their cases.

“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.

On Aug 28, 2020, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur dismissed the judicial review applications by Najib and Muhammad Shafee to remove Sri Ram as prosecutor and on Nov 8, 2020, they lost their appeal against the High Court’s decision at the Court of Appeal.

Najib had 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 disqualify 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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