PUTRAJAYA (Aug 16): Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah have filed application to introduce new evidence in their appeals to disqualify former Federal Court Judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as deputy public prosecutor (DPP) in their cases.
Muhammad Shafee told the Court of Appeal three-member bench today that they have filed the notice of motion yesterday to seek leave to include Sri Ram's letter of appointment as new evidence in their appeals.
He said he received a copy of Sri Ram’s appointment letter on Aug 9, following a Federal Court's decision on Aug 7 to allow Najib’s appeal for the prosecution to produce Sri Ram's letter of appointment to the defence.
On Aug 7, the Federal Court seven-member bench led by Chief Justice Datuk Seri Utama Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat had dismissed Najib's appeal to disqualify Sri Ram to lead the prosecution team as senior deputy public prosecutor in his (Najib's) 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial.
Muhammad Shafee told the court today that Sri Ram should not have been appointed under Section 376 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code as that section applies only to deputy public prosecutors, instead he (Sri Ram) should be appointed on ad hoc basic.
Justice Datuk Hasnah Mohammed Hashim who chaired the bench today, then fixed Aug 26 for the hearing of the applications and appeals after allowing senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan’s request for an adjournment.
“There is a Certificate of Urgency filed, which means this matter must be heard early,” said Justice Hasnah who presided with Datuk Lau Bee Lan and Datuk Has Zanah Mehat.
Shamsul who appeared for the Attorney General/Public Prosecutor, the government and Sri Ram told the court that he needed time to decide whether an affidavit-in-reply should be filed.
He said he would undertake to notify the court and Muhammad Shafee by Wednesday (Aug 21) if there was no necessity to file the affidavit.
Justice Hasnah also reminded Muhammad Shafee to file his written submissions by Aug 20.
Najib and Muhammad Shafee are appealing against the High Court's dismissal on Feb 20, of their application for leave for a judicial review to challenge Sri Ram’s appointment as head of the prosecution team in their cases.
Muhammad Shafee acted for Najib as well as representing himself in the matters before the court today.
Najib and Muhammad Shafee have separately filed the judicial review in December last year naming the Attorney-General/Public Prosecutor, the Government of Malaysia and Sri Ram as respondents.
They sought a court order to revoke or recuse the appointment of Sri Ram by stating that his letter of appointment was invalid.
They also sought a declaration that there was a conflict of interest in Sri Ram’s appointment and requested for a court order to prohibit him (Sri Ram) from leading the prosecution team in all their cases.