KUALA LUMPUR (May 5): Former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram has joined hands with Harvinderjit Singh, the legal counsel of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to represent Sam Ke Ting, the female clerk who was sentenced to six years' jail and a RM6,000 fine for reckless driving which resulted in the deaths of eight teenagers on modified bicycles commonly known as "basikal lajak" five years ago.
Sri Ram will lead the team, which includes Harvinderjit and other lawyers, in the appeal.
When contacted by The Edge, Harvinderjit confirmed that Sam finalised the appointments on Thursday (May 5) afternoon with Sri Ram.
"He (Sri Ram) has agreed to conduct the appeal for her," Harvinderjit said, adding that the team has offered services pro bono to appeal the ruling of the High Court against Sam.
Sam's lawyer Faizal Mokhtar will also be part of the legal team.
Sri Ram is the lead prosecutor of the ongoing 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) case against former prime minister Najib, who is charged with four counts of abuse of power in enriching himself with RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering of the same amount. He could face a fine and up to 20 years' imprisonment if convicted.
Meanwhile, Harvinderjit represents Najib in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case in which the former prime minister is currently appealing the sentence of 12-year jail term and RM210 million fine at the Federal Court.
Harvinderjit said that they will inform Court of Appeal deputy registrar Mohd Khairi Haron via a case management slated to be held on May 11 about their appointments as Sam’s legal counsels, and to ask for the appeal records in preparation for the case.
He said that the team would need to file the petition of appeal after that.
“If need be, we will also add questions of law to be argued during the appeal,” the lawyer said.
To recap, on April 18, the court allowed Sam's application to stay the execution of the jail sentence and fine imposed by the High Court on April 13 and also released her on bail of RM10,000 with one surety pending the hearing of her appeal.
High Court Judge Datuk Abu Bakar Katar, who meted out the jail sentence and fine on Sam, also ordered the 27-year old female to be jailed for six months if she fails to pay the fine and a three-year driving ban upon completion of her prison term.
The court handed down the decision after allowing the prosecution's appeal to set aside the Magistrate's Court's decision on Oct 10 last year, which acquitted and discharged the woman.
Sam, who was 22 years old at the time of the incident, was charged with committing the offence in Jalan Lingkaran Dalam, Johor Baru, Johor at 3.20am on Feb 18, 2017.
The eight teenagers killed in the incident were Mohamad Azrie Danish Zulkefli, 14; Muhamad Shahrul Izzwan Azzuraimie, 14; Muhammad Firdauz Danish Mohd Azhar, 16; Fauzan Halmijan, 13; Mohamad Azhar Amir, 16; Muhammad Harith Iskandar Abdullah, 14; Muhammad Shahrul Nizam Marudin, 14; and Haizad Kasrin, 16.