30 April 2019
KUALA LUMPUR: The widow of late private investigator P Balasubramaniam, better known as PI Bala, has obtained leave from the High Court to begin contempt proceedings against lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and a medical doctor.
Lawyer Americk Sidhu, representing A Santamil Selvi, said judge Azimah Omar has given the green light to commit the three to prison for disrespecting the court.
“We will file the necessary papers to begin contempt proceedings against the three respondents,” he told reporters after getting the ex-parte order from the judge’s chambers.
Shafee, Azeez and Dr S Ganesanathan can either set aside the leave application obtained by Santamil Selvi or contest the allegations of contempt of court.
Santamil filed the application on Oct 31 last year, claiming that the three respondents had stopped businessman Deepak Jaikishan from being cross-examined on an affidavit which he filed together with the defence statement in her suit.
She claimed that Shafee, who represented Deepak in the case, had intentionally and falsely informed the court that Deepak was unable to attend court as he was sick.
A copy of Deepak’s medical report, issued by a government hospital, was submitted to the court.
The proceeding, which was supposed to be heard by justice Hue Siew Kheng who is now retired on March 19 last year, was postponed to March 27 and again to April 13 after Shafee produced the medical report, issued by Ganesanathan.
Santamil also claimed that Deepak had made a police report saying Shafee, Azeez and the doctor had conspired to prevent him from attending the court proceedings by producing a false medical report.
In the affidavit filed together with the application, she claimed Deepak was prevented from attending the court proceedings as part of an attempt to prevent him from telling the truth about the involvement of former prime minister Najib Razak, who is named as a defendant in her suit.
In her statement of claim, Santamil and her three children – Kishen, Menaga and Reeshi – claimed they had to move to India following the second statutory declaration made by Bala over the murder of the Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu. They said they had stayed in India for 56 months from July 4, 2008.
They are seeking RM840,000 in damages, including for the rental of an apartment in Chennai, India, school fees and the loss of income as a kindergarten teacher, as well as housing loan, transportation cost, general and special damages and costs.
Bala was the key witness in the murder trial of Altantuya in 2006.
He died of a heart attack on March 15, 2013, a few weeks after returning from India.
THE wife of late private investigator P. Balasubramaniam had applied to cite Umno lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for contempt for allegedly preventing his former client, businessman J.R. Deepak Jaikishan, from giving evidence under cross-examination.
Santamil Selvi said Shafee had acted in concert with two others to ensure the absence of Deepak for cross-examination during a suit against former prime minister Najib Razak, whom Shafee also represents.
The suit, filed by Santamil and her three children on July 23, 2017, sought RM840,000 in damages from Najib, his wife, Rosmah Mansor, and seven other defendants for trauma caused as a result of a second statutory declaration made by Bala over the murder of the Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Lawyer Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and Dr Ganesanathan Sanmuganathan were also named as respondents, according to her notice of application filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.
Deepak, 46, was originally meant to testify on March 19 last year, before lawyers wrongfully informed the court that he was ill, Santamil said in the notice of application.
Deepak’s cross-examination was postponed to March 27 last year, but Deepak did not turn up. Santamil said Ganesanathan made a medical report that was “false in material particulars” that had allowed Deepak to be admitted into Pantai Damai Hospital.
The medical report, attached with Santamil’s affidavit, said Deepak was admitted for food poisoning and suffered from “abdominal pain, nausea and severe anal pain”.
Santamil said the report was “meant for the purpose of obtaining an adjournment of the hearing in court by unlawful means”.
Shafee and Azeez sought to prevent Deepak “from giving evidence on oath under cross-examination and speaking the truth”, she said.
“The purpose was to prevent the eighth respondent (Deepak) from telling the truth about the involvement of other defendants in the main (legal) action as this would have implicated Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak especially, in various misdeeds in relating to our forced exile to India in July 2008,” the affidavit said.
Deepak lodged a police report on October 19, 2018, in which he accused all three men of conspiring with each other to prevent him from attending the court for the purpose of cross-examination.
Deepak also alleged that he was forced to take Shafee as his lawyer early last year on the instruction of Najib on threat of pressure by government-linked financial institutions and government departments. Najib was prime minister until May 9, when Barisan Nasional failed to retain power after the 14th general election.
He said he was forced to be admitted to a private hospital on March 19, a private hospital on March 27 and a private hospital in New Delhi on April 13 to avoid testifying.
High court judge Azimah Omar set March 8 for hearing and decision, Santamil’s lawyer, Americk Sidhu, said after a hearing in chambers today.