No comment, Sri Ram says to ex-AG’s claim on Najib arrest

Retired Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram and former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali.

PETALING JAYA: Retired Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram has declined to comment on Mohamed Apandi Ali’s claim that he asked the former attorney-general to arrest Najib Razak for an unspecified offence in January 2018.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Apandi said Sri Ram had told him that the arrest order came from then-opposition leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Tun M sent me to see you,” he claimed Sri Ram said.

“He wants you to arrest Najib at his office, you go tomorrow at 2pm, we have arranged for the police in Putrajaya to do what is necessary on your instructions.”

When contacted, Sri Ram, now a practising lawyer and the ad hoc prosecutor in Najib’s 1MDB-related trials, said he had no comment on the claim.

Apandi was dismissed from office after the Pakatan Harapan coalition, led by Mahathir, took federal power in the May 9, 2018 polls.

In his Facebook post, he said he had evidence of his claim in the form of eyewitnesses and a CCTV recording.

He said Sri Ram had come to his house with a young Chinese lawyer, purportedly to discuss his rejection of a representation in a criminal case.

“Then suddenly, he said that that was only an excuse to see me and that he had a bigger agenda at hand.”

After telling him about Mahathir’s alleged request, he said Sri Ram assured him that arrangements had been made for a magistrate to issue a remand order for Najib.

“Brother, you will be a hero in the eyes of the people and you will be the first AG to arrest a sitting prime minister,” he claimed Sri Ram had said.

“Don’t worry, we have laid the ground plans, all I need now is for you to agree.”

Apandi said he told Sri Ram that he would think about it although he claimed the latter had wanted an immediate response.

“At that time, my family and I were also under attack on social media, not only from the opposition but also from within the then-government of the day cybertroopers,” he added.

In July 2015, a task force began investigating Najib over RM42 million in SRC International funds and another RM2.6 billion found in his private accounts.

Apandi, who replaced Abdul Gani Patail as AG in late July 2015, cleared Najib of any wrongdoing in both cases in January 2016.

However, the prosecution reopened the cases in June 2018. Najib was subsequently charged with criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering.

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali will deliver his verdict on whether to acquit or convict Najib in the SRC International case on July 28.

Najib also faces four counts of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

He is also accused of tampering with the final audit report of 1MDB.

Both trials are still at the prosecution stage.

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