KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 ― Former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram has refuted former attorney general Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s allegation that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad tried to have Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrested in 2018.
He was responding to Apandi’s affidavit that was being used to support a legal bid by Najib to oust Sri Ram from being part of the prosecution team against Najib in the 1MDB-linked cases.
In his counter-affidavit filed at the High Court yesterday, Sri Ram said he never told Apandi that he was a messenger for Dr Mahathir who allegedly wanted Najib arrested.
“At no time during our conversation did I ever mention that I had been sent by Tun M (Tun Dr Mahathir).
“The account of the conversation given by Apandi in Paragraphs 10, 11, 12 and 13 is not correct. Such conversation did not take place,” Sri Ram said in the court filing.
Paragraphs 10, 11, 12 and 13 referred to portions of Apandi’s affidavit that claimed Sri Ram tried to coax the then-AG to get Najib arrested.
Sri Ram confirmed he and another lawyer, JR Tey, visited Apandi at home in January 2018, but asserted that it was purely in his professional capacity.
“During the meeting at their home, I rendered certain advice which is the subject matter of legal professional privilege. I am therefore unable to reveal the same.
“In the course of the conversation, I advised Apandi that it appeared there was evidence in the public domain against Najib and that it was plainly his duty to have Najib arrested and charged,” Sri Ram said.
Apandi said in his affidavit that he communicated with Sri Ram via WhatsApp after Pakatan Harapan came to power in May 2018 and added that Sri Ram who was then senior deputy public prosecutor in Najib's 1MDB case, had a “clear mission of bias” against the Pekan MP.
However, Sri Ram claimed the reverse was true as Apandi was appointed AG by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Najib’s advice when the latter was prime minister.
“This was made apparent at the press conference held on January 26, 2016 when he purported to clear the accused Najib of all criminal misconduct, including his criminality in what has now come to be known as the SRC case,” Sri Ram said in his affidavit.
Sri Ram also reiterated that findings from previous court proceedings confirmed his appointment as the deputy public prosecutor in 1MDB-linked cases against Najib and his ability to conduct the prosecution was made fairly.
“I have not been guilty of any prosecutorial misconduct. Up to date, in all the trials I am handling, the prosecution has led evidence which is relevant and admissible.
“Ultimately, it is for this Honorable Court to adjudge the guilt or innocence of the accused based on the evidence in each of those cases,” he said.
Najib and his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had previously said they will use the affidavit in support by Apandi in their judicial review applications to challenge the appointment of Sri Ram in leading the prosecution team in their cases.
Najib’s legal bid to disqualify Sri Ram is set for hearing before the High Court on July 13.
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