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Federal court to hear Najib’s appeal to disqualify Sri Ram on Aug 7


PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has fixed Aug 7 to hear Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s appeal to disqualify former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as lead prosecutor in his 1Malaysian Development Bhd (1MDB) cases.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib told reporters that the prosecution and defence in the case were also instructed to file their respective submissions before July 24.

The matter came up for case management before deputy registrar Azniza Mohd Ali in chambers today. Lawyer Sarah Abishegam appeared for Najib.

On March 1, the High Court dismissed Najib’s application to disqualify Sri Ram from leading the prosecution in his 1MDB cases. He also lost his appeal in the Court of Appeal on May 7.

A three-member Court of Appeal bench comprising judges Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof, Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Lau Bee Lan ruled that the matter was not appealable by virtue of Section 50(1) read with Section 3 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.

The 66-year old Pekan Member of Parliament is facing 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 is accused of committing the offences at AmIslamic Bank Bhd in Jalan Raja Chulan in Kuala Lumpur between 2011 and 2014. The High Court has set Aug 19 for trial for Najib’s 1MDB cases.

Meanwhile, two matters brought by Najib relating to his SRC International Sdn Bhd cases were also separately set for case management today before Federal Court deputy registrar Azniza.

Deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Izzat Fauzan said the Federal Court set Sept 4 to hear Najib’s review application against the lifting of the order to temporarily stay his SRC International trial and also on the former premier’s bid for a stay of the High Court proceedings.

He said the court has also set July 12 for case management for the matters.

On March 27, this year, the Federal Court seven-man bench led by former Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum (now retired) lifted the stay of proceedings order granted by the appellate court to Najib to temporarily stall the trial pending disposal of his appeals over his interlocutory matters.

Najib is facing seven charges of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money-laundering involving RM42 million of SRC international funds. His trial is ongoing before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

He was charged with committing the criminal breach of trust at AmIslamic Bank Berhad, Ambank Group building in Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur between Dec 24, 2014, and Dec 29, 2014, and for the money-laundering charges, he was alleged to have committed at the same place between Dec 26, 2014, and Feb 10, 2015.

For the charge of using his position to commit bribery under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, Najib was accused of committing the offence at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011, and Feb 8, 2012.

Meanwhile, Najib’s appeal against the High Court’s dismissal of his bid to strike out his seven SRC international charges has been set for further case management on July 12 awaiting the records of appeal.

Muhammad Izzat said the matter was set for case management today before Court of Appeal registrar Datuk Norsharidah Awang.