Najib's bid to remove Sri Ram from prosecuting him in 1MDB audit report tampering trial goes to Federal Court

Datuk Seri Najib Razak (Photo by Shahril Basri/The Edge)

Datuk Seri Najib Razak (Photo by Shahril Basri/The Edge)

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PUTRAJAYA (Sept 14): Datuk Seri Najib Razak is bringing his appeal to remove former senior judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram from continuing to prosecute him in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) audit report tampering trial to the Federal Court.

When contacted, prosecutors confirmed with that the former premier had filed the appeal to the apex court.

Lawyer Nur Syahirah Hanapiah, who is Najib's counsel, also confirmed separately that the appeal was filed on Friday.

The Court of Appeal last Wednesday dismissed his appeal to remove Sri Ram, who has been appointed a senior deputy public prosecutor (DPP) by the attorney general to prosecute in 1MDB-related cases.

The three-member appellate bench led by Justice Datuk Yaacob Md Sam said there was no appealable error in the High Court's decision on Feb 15 to dismiss Najib's bid to disqualify Sri Ram as a senior DPP in the cases.

Besides Justice Yaacob, the other two judges were Datuk Abu Bakar Jais and Datuk Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali.

Najib and former 1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy are on trial over 1MDB audit report tampering charges.

The former prime minister is charged with using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB audit report before it was submitted to the parliament's Public Accounts Committee, to protect himself from disciplinary, civil and criminal actions while Arul Kanda is charged with abetting Najib.

The charges are framed under Section 23 (1) of the MACC Act 2009, which specifies a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

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Lam Jian Wyn