Court dismisses Najib bid to recuse Sri Ram from 1MDB-linked case
Hidir Reduan Abdul Rashid
Published 15 Feb 2021, 10:04 am
Najib Abdul Razak again failed to disqualify former federal court judge Gopal Sri Ram from prosecuting the former prime minister’s 1MDB-linked case.
.The Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning dismissed the accused’s application to recuse Sri Ram from being part of the prosecution team in the former’s 1MDB audit report tampering trial.
During open-court proceedings this morning, judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan ruled that Najib’s recusal application was without basis and misplaced.
The judge noted that Sri Ram, like any person, is entitled to his personal opinion and it remains just that.
“It would have been different consideration if it was demonstrated (Sri Ram’s opinion caused bias) when carrying out his duty as DPP.
“Nevertheless as highlighted by the respondent (prosecution team), it (alleged event showing bias via Sri Ram’s meeting with then attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali in early 2018) took place before Sri Ram was appointed as DPP.
“The applicant (Najib) has not made any application earlier to complain about Sri Ram’s conduct in the trial (1MDB audit report tampering case) involving the applicant.
“This lends credence to the respondent (prosecution contention) that Sri Ram has been above board in his conduct as DPP.
“The applicant’s allegation that Sri Ram has been involved in the investigation against him is without merit.
“There is nothing to support the application and it remains hypothetical,” Zaini ruled.
Najib’s 1MDB audit report tampering trial is set to resume on Monday next week.