Top court junks Najib, Shafee’s bid to recuse Gopal Sri Ram as senior prosecutor in their respective cases

Lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court June 16, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court June 16, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — The High Court here today dismissed the judicial review application by Datuk Seri Najib 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 made the decision after finding there was no evidence to prove that the then Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas had misdirected himself under the law in the appointment of Sri Ram as senior DPP.

The judge also held that the appointment of Sri Ram as senior DPP pursuant to Section 376(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) was legal and valid.

The court ordered Najib and Muhammad Shafee to pay RM10,000 in costs each to the respondents.

In December 2018, the former prime minister filed for the judicial review to disqualify the former Federal Court judge as the senior DPP in his 1MDB-linked cases. 

Besides acting as Najib’s counsel, Muhammad Shafee also filed for judicial review as he too was seeking to recuse Sri Ram from his RM9.5 million money laundering case trial, which has yet to commence.

They named the AG/public prosecutor, the government and Sri Ram as respondents.

They were seeking a court order to revoke Sri Ram’s appointment or recuse him, saying 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 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

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