KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 ― The High Court will hear Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bid to remove Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as the lead prosecutor in the former prime minister’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case before trial starts.
High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah has scheduled February 8 for the hearing of Najib’s application to have Sri Ram recused, news portal Malaysiakini reported today.
The case before Collin Lawrence involves 25 charges against Najib in relation to over RM2 billion in funds linked to 1MDB, with the next case management set for January 31 and the trial for this case previously set for April 15 until May 3.
The 25 charges faced by Najib involve 4 counts of abuse of power under an anti-corruption law for his alleged self-gratification and 21 counts of money-laundering in relation to over RM2 billion of funds said to belong to 1MDB.
Sri Ram is a retired Federal Court judge-turned-lawyer who was appointed by Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to prosecute all 1MDB-linked cases.
Najib was present in court today with his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and his son Norashman Najib, Malaysiakini reported.
Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was also present in the courtroom, Free Malaysia Today reported separately.
National news wire Bernama reported that Rosmah’s application to transfer her bribery case from the Sessions Court to High Court was also raised before Justice Collin Lawrence; mention for the matter is set for January 24.
Rosmah’s case involves two counts under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 for allegedly soliciting RM187.5 million and receiving RM1.5 million in bribes in exchange for helping a company secure a project to provide solar energy to rural schools in Sarawak.