Hearing of Najib's appeal to disqualify Gopal Sri Ram as prosecutor rescheduled to April 23

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PUTRAJAYA (April 10): The Court of Appeal has rescheduled to April 23 to hear Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's appeal against a High Court's dismissal of his application to disqualify former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram from leading the prosecution team in his 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) cases.

A three-member panel comprising Justices Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof, Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Lau Bee Lan allowed the request by Najib's counsel, Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed, for the hearing to be postponed.

Wan Aizuddin told the court that they wanted to wait for the decision of the Federal Court on a related matter today.

The prosecution, conducted by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib, did not object to the request for an adjournment and he also informed the court that they would be filing a preliminary objection against Najib's appeal to disqualify Sri Ram as prosecutor, which would be centred on whether the matter is appealable. 

On March 1 this year, High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah dismissed Najib's application to disqualify Sri Ram, who has been appointed senior deputy public prosecutor.

He found there was no evidence to show that Sri Ram would be biased in handling the case.

Judge Sequerah also held that Najib had no right to demand for Sri Ram's letter of appointment.

He also dismissed Najib's application to temporarily suspend the trial, which is scheduled to commence on May 14, pending disposal of his appeal to disqualify Sri Ram.

On Sept 20, 2018,  Najib was charged with four counts under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act and 21 counts for money laundering involving 1MDB funds, amounting to RM2.28 billion.

He was charged with committing the offences at AmIslamic Bank Bhd, No. 55, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Ceylon between 2011 and 2014. — Bernama