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Lawyers appeal against courts dismissal of bid to recuse Sri Ram fixed on Sept 30



PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has fixed Sept 30 to hear lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s appeal against the High Court’s dismissal of his bid to recuse former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram from leading the prosecution team in his (Muhammad Shafee’s) RM9.5 million money laundering case.

This was after a three-member panel led by Justice Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said allowed an application by Muhammad Shafee’s counsel, Harvinderjit Singh, for postponement of the appeal hearing, which was fixed for today.

The other judges presiding on the panel were Datuk Azizah Nawawi and Datuk Wira Ahmad Nasfy Yasin.

Harvinderjit informed the court that he sought an adjournment of the appeal pending the outcome of a judicial review in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

The judicial review, filed by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Muhammad Shafee to challenge the Attorney-General’s decision to appoint Sri Ram as a deputy public prosecutor, would be heard on July 29.

Deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz did not object to the postponement of the appeal hearing.

The other judges presiding on the panel were Datuk Azizah Nawawi and Datuk Wira Ahmad Nasfy Yasin.

On April 22, last year, High Court judge Collin Sequerah dismissed Muhammad Shafee’s application to recuse Sri Ram and also to obtain the letter of appointment of Sri Ram as senior deputy public prosecutor.

Muhammad Shafee pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court on Sept 13, 2018 to two counts of allegedly receiving proceeds from unlawful activities via cheques issued by Najib, which were remitted into his CIMB Bank Berhad account.

He was alleged to have received a cheque for RM4.3 million on Sept 13, 2013, and another for RM5.2 million on Feb 17, 2014.

Both the offences were allegedly committed at CIMB Bank Bhd in Taman Tunku, Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur.

Muhammad Shafee is also facing two charges of being involved in transactions of proceeds from unlawful activities, that is by making inaccurate statements and in contravention of paragraph 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for financial years ending Dec 31, 2013, and Dec 31, 2014.

The offences were allegedly committed at the IRB’s Duta branch at Kompleks Pejabat Kerajaan, Jalan Tunku Abdul Halim here on March 3, 2015, and June 29, 2015.

The cases have been transferred for hearing at the High Court.

As for the judicial review, both Najib and Muhammad Shafee had sought an order to recuse Sri Ram as lead prosecutor in their respective cases by stating that his letter of appointment was invalid.

Najib is facing corruption and money-laundering charges involving RM2.3 billion allegedly from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds.

— BERNAMA





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