1MDB trial may be nullified if Sri Ram disqualified

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Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s legal team has warned that the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial may be nullified if they succeed in the bid to disqualify Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram (pic) from leading the prosecution team.

Lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said on the assumption that the decision is in favour of Najib and if the defence is proven right that Sri Ram’s appointment is null, the whole trial will ultimately be nullified.

“If the appellate court were to agree, the consequences would either be a retrial or an acquittal.

“In the event of a null, if that nullity is a result of the blunder of the judiciary, then the prosecution must not be made to suffer,” he said before High Court judge Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah, adding that if it were the blunder of both the prosecution and judiciary, then the order of acquittal may be necessary.

Muhammad Shafee said this before Sri Ram read his opening statement of the 1MDB trial.

On Monday, the Court of Appeal granted leave to Najib and Shafee to challenge the appointment of Sri Ram, a former Federal Court judge, as the senior deputy public prosecutor (DPP) in their trials.

“The ball is at your (prosecution’s) feet. I’m not asking for adjournment. I’m not asking for a stay. I just want to make a statement,” said Muhammad Shafee.

In response, Sri Ram said the trial would go an as far as the prosecution is concerned and that the arguments would be dealt with if the need arose.

“They say the ball is in our court but I say the ball is up in the air,” Sri Ram added.

Justice Lawrence allowed the case to proceed and Sri Ram read the opening statement.

Speaking to reporters outside the High Court, Muhammad Shafee said he would like to see what the prosecution is able to prove from the promises they made in the opening statement.

“You can see from the SRC International trial that there was a great deal from the prosecution to link us with Jho Low.

“But the fact that he’s not here, who are you going to call to say there is a collusion? I can guess but let’s wait perhaps on Sept 3, the start of something new,” he said.

Muhammad Shafee added that Najib was misled by Jho Low, who also misled the banks, 1MDB and also when 1MDB was then known as the Terengganu Investment Authority.

“I don’t care where the money came from in this charge but I have always believed it’s the donation.

“Whether documents were fabricated or not, you prove it. Even if you prove it, you have to prove that I know it’s fabricated. I don’t care if Jho Low knows. Do I know?” he said.

The Star

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