PUTRAJAYA (Sept 14): Attorney-General (AG) Tommy Thomas was duty bound to disclose the truth to the court regarding information on the RM9.5 million allegedly paid to lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the Court of Appeal heard.
Senior federal counsel Zureen Elina Mohd Dom said the affidavit revealed information was filed by the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) on the AG's instruction.
"The reason for filing the affidavit was that the AG was of the view that being an officer of the court, he had the duty to inform the truth to the court about the information pertaining to the RM9.5 million," Zureen said.
Justice Datuk Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid chairing the Court of Appeal’s three-man bench had requested Zureen to clarify on the government's position with regards to the appeal, as well as on the affidavit filed by the AGC.
Zureen, however, told the court that the government was not conceding to PKR president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's appeal to reinstate his lawsuit against the government, relating to his sodomy conviction.
Lawyer Harvinderjit Singh appearing for Muhammad Shafee said the application to intervene was filed, due to the circumstances of the AGC's affidavit.
Zureen who represented the government and Anwar's lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, told the court they were served with the intervener application yesterday (Sept 13) evening.
Muhammad Shafee sought to intervene in the appeal, in a bid to expunge the affidavit which was affirmed on Sept 5 this year by special task officer to the AG, Siti Rahayu Mohd Mumazaini, as well as to also cross-examine her.
Justice Umi Kalthum instructed the matter to be sent for case management and the deputy registrar subsequently set Nov 29 for hearing of the application for Muhammad Shafee to intervene in the appeal and Sept 21 case management on the matter.
The other two judges were Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal and Datuk Yeoh Wee Siam.
Last week, Anwar, in a statement, had said his lawyers had received the affidavit signed by Siti Rahayu, stating new information was discovered that the RM9.5 million was paid to Muhammad Shafee, from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's bank accounts, between 2013 and 2014.
Anwar, filed the originating summons on June 9, 2017 against the government, claiming he did not get a fair trial in the appeal against his sodomy II conviction.
He has sought a declaration that his conviction by the Court of Appeal on March 7, 2014 was ultra vires the Federal Constitution and thus null and void and he also wanted to nullify the Federal Court's decision which had upheld his conviction.
In his affidavit, Anwar claimed Muhammad Shafee received RM9.5 million from Najib to lead the prosecution team in the appeal over his sodomy conviction.
Anwar’s conviction and five-year jail term for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, was upheld by the Federal Court. Anwar, however, was given full pardon by the King on May 16 this year.
The government had filed the application to strike out Anwar’s suit on grounds it was petty, had no cause of action and an abuse of the court process.
On Nov 8 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court struck out the suit, after allowing the government’s application prompting Anwar to file the appeal to the Court of Appeal.
After the court proceedings, Sri Ram told reporters he would oppose the application for Muhammad Shafee to intervene in the appeal.
Yesterday, Muhammad Shafee claimed trial at the Sessions Court to two counts of money-laundering and another two counts of allegedly making incorrect filings under the Income Tax Act 1967, regarding his tax returns pertaining to two cheques he received from Najib for RM9.5 million. — Bernama