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August 28 decision on judicial review against Sri Ram's appointment

August 28 decision on judicial review against Sri Ram's appointment
August 28 decision on judicial review against Sri Ram's appointment.
KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today fixed August 28 to decide on a judicial review application by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, to recuse Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as the senior deputy public prosecutor (DPP) in their respective cases.

Judge Datuk Seri Mariana Yahya fixed the date after hearing the submissions by from Muhammad Shafee and senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, on behalf of the Attorney-General (AG)/ Public Prosecutor, the government and Sri Ram.
She said the decision will be delivered at 3 pm.

Earlier, in his submissions, Muhammad Shafee queried Sri Ram's position as he was appointed as a DPP by then AG Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, whereby Thomas himself was a political appointee, made by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"Thomas resigned from the post after the government changed. If you have the AG himself who was political appointed, how about Sri Ram, as his misconduct had revealed in the affidavits of former AG Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali.

"Sri Ram can't be the impartial prosecutor, therefore he is not fit as a proper person," said Muhamad Shafee when submitting in the former prime minister’s bid to disqualify Sri Ram as the DPP in his 1MDB-linked cases.

He also said that Sri Ram supposedly informed the matter (Whatsapp messages with Mohamed Apandi) to Thomas prior to his appointment.

"Sri Ram should have said to Thomas about the conversation that he had advised Mohamed Apandi to arrest and charge Najib as people out there (were) angry. If Thomas knew the matter, then it's an illegal appointment," he said.

Shamsul, in objecting the matter, said that the exchange of Whatsapp messages between Sri Ram and Mohamed Apandi as deposed in the additional affidavits took place well before Thomas was appointed as AG and Sri Ram's appointment as a senior DPP.

"Thomas was not implicated in anyway in those Whatsapp messages, or in the affidavit of (Mohamed) Apandi Ali. It was also not the pleaded case of the applicants that Thomas was aware of the contents of those Whatsapp messages in making his decision to appoint Sri Ram as a Senior DPP.

"In the circumstances, one wonders how such exchange of Whatsapp messages would have any bearing in determining issues which relate solely on which amongst Section 376 (3), 377 and 379 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) is the proper enabling provision for the appointment of an ad-hoc DPP.

“Therefore, we pray that both applications be dismissed with costs," said Shamsul.

In the applications filed in December 2018, besides acting as Najib’s counsel, Muhammad Shafee has also filed for the judicial review as he too is seeking to recuse Sri Ram from his RM9.5mil money laundering trial, which has yet to commence.

They are seeking a court order to revoke Sri Ram’s appointment or recuse him, saying that his letter of appointment is invalid and a declaration that there is a conflict of interest in Sri Ram's appointment and request for an order to prohibit him from leading the prosecution team in all of their cases, including on corruption, abuse of power and money laundering.

-- BERNAMA