Shafee in bid to remove Sri Ram as prosecutor in his trial

KUALA LUMPUR: Prominent lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah plans to file an application to remove former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram as the prosecutor in the money laundering charges against him.

Shafee told reporters today that the application would be done at the High Court, once he succeeds in transferring the cases there.

“No point doing it here because the case will be transferred to the High Court,” Shafee told reporters outside the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur.

He said the High Court should hear the case as it involved allegations of money laundering and “because this is a complicated case”.

Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob today set Oct 8 to hear the outcome of Shafee’s application to transfer the hearing to the High Court.

On Sept 13, Shafee told the court that he would not get a fair trial with Sri Ram leading the prosecution.

He said Sri Ram must be disqualified as he had represented PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim in a suit against the government.

Anwar last year filed a suit claiming he had been denied a fair trial in the sodomy charge against him, citing the RM9.5 million Shafee received from former Umno president Najib Razak.

Shafee, who led the prosecution of Anwar when the latter was sentenced to five years’ jail for sodomy by the Federal Court in 2015, said his relationship with Sri Ram as both lawyer and later Court of Appeal judge was “not pleasant”.

Shafee, who in the past represented Umno and its leaders, has been slapped with four money laundering charges over two cheques totalling RM9.5 million which he received from Najib.

Shafee was also charged with making false declarations to the Inland Revenue Board over the amount.

Shafee was appointed as an ad-hoc prosecutor to fight Anwar’s appeal in the Federal Court to quash his sodomy conviction. The Federal Court affirmed the conviction in February 2015 and sentenced Anwar to five years’ imprisonment. He was released after being granted a royal pardon on May 16.