Najib’s appeal to disqualify Gopal Sri Ram as lead prosecutor to be heard April 10

Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya March 12, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya March 12, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — The Court of Appeal will hear on April 10 Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's appeal against a High Court dismissal of his application to disqualify lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram from leading the prosecution team in his 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) cases.

DPP Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam told reporters the court will also hear on the same day the former prime minister's appeal against the High Court refusal to grant him a stay of the trial on his 1MDB charges.

Senior deputy registrar Yasmin Abdul Razak set the hearing date when the matter came up before her for case management today.

Lawyer Syahirah Hanapiah appeared for Najib.

On March 1 this year, High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah dismissed Najib's application to disqualify Sri Ram, a retired Federal Court judge. 

He found that there is no evidence to show that Sri Ram would be biased as a Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor in handling the case.

Judge Sequerah also held that Najib had no right to demand Sri Ram's letter of appointment.

He also dismissed Najib's application to temporarily suspend the trial which is scheduled for April 15 to May 3, pending disposal of Najib’s appeal to disqualify Sri Ram.

On Sept 20, 2018, Najib was charged with four counts under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act and 21 counts of money laundering involving 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion.

He was charged with committing the offences at AmIslamic Bank Bhd at No. 55, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Ceylon between 2011 and 2014. — Bernama