AG can appoint new lead counsel to replace Sri Ram in 1MDB trial, says Malaysian Bar

Malaysian Bar president Karen Cheah Yee Lynn.

PETALING JAYA: Proceedings in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial can go on as usual despite the passing of lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, says the Malaysian Bar.

Its president Karen Cheah said another lead counsel could be appointed by the Attorney General to replace the late Sri Ram in the trial.

ALSO READ: Najib's 1MDB trial postponed to Feb 2 due to Sri Ram's sudden passing

“I understand that the 1MDB cases will proceed as usual.

“The... lead counsel (may come) from within the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) or Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers to continue with the cases,” said Cheah when contacted on Monday (Jan 30).

Lawyer Andrew Khoo also expressed a similar opinion.

Asked if there was a deadline to appoint a new lead prosecutor, Khoo said it needed to be done reasonably soon, so as not to delay the trial.

ALSO READ: Heavy hearts within judiciary and legal fraternity

“In short, a new lead prosecutor will be named to take over,” said Khoo.

Earlier on Monday, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib asked High Court judge Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah for the 1MDB proceedings to be adjourned on Monday and Tuesday (Jan 31) in light of Sri Ram’s sudden demise.

Sri Ram’s wake and cremation ceremony would be held on Tuesday (Jan 31).

ALSO READ: Veteran lawyer Gopal Sri Ram passes away at 79

Justice Sequerah allowed the adjournment, saying that the trial will resume on Thursday (Feb 2) with the continued cross-examination of prosecution witness Joanna Yu, who was Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s former relationship manager at Ambank.

Najib, 70, is on trial for 25 charges in total: four for abuse of power that allegedly brought him financial benefit to the tune of RM2.28bil; and 21 for money laundering involving the same amount.

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