Ex-AG: Sri Ram said money in Najib’s accounts enough to charge him

Former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali says the ad hoc prosecutor in Najib Razak’s 1MDB trials, Gopal Sri Ram, had suggested that the fact that money was found in the ex-prime minister’s accounts was enough to frame charges against him.

In his affidavit in support of Najib’s application to disqualify Sri Ram from leading the prosecution team in the trials, he said he had been taken aback by this.

“I was surprised by his attitude which exemplifies an unreasonable approach, especially coming from an ex-apex court judge and eminent counsel who had always preached on the right to fair trial,” he said in the affidavit sighted by FMT.

He also said he had been taught that a good prosecutor would not charge an accused person without taking into account his statement as well as the entire structure of his proposed defence.

“So I replied by saying that in respect of the RM2.6 billion case investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), there was sufficient explanation by the accused which had satisfied the investigation agency.

“I also said MACC had come out twice with press statements clearing Najib of wrongdoing,” he said.

Apandi, who confirmed the document to FMT, said Sri Ram had surprised him further by saying that a prosecutor is not concerned with the defence’s stand.

He claimed Sri Ram told him that a prosecutor only needed prima facie evidence of a crime, and that it was for the accused to explain the matter in court.

He also claimed Sri Ram had said that while MACC might have cleared a suspect, it was for the public prosecutor to charge the individual if witness statements showed a case.

“I had never heard of such a jaundiced view coming from the mouth of such a purportedly experienced person,” he said.

“I concluded that Gopal Sri Ram had a mission with a clear bias against Najib in all of Najib’s cases.”

Apandi added that he did not respond to Sri Ram, and that he was “horrified” to learn that the latter had been appointed a senior deputy public prosecutor.

Last week, Apandi claimed in a Facebook post that he was asked by Sri Ram to arrest Najib for an unspecified offence in January 2018.

He said Sri Ram told him that the arrest order came from then-opposition leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Sri Ram has declined to comment.

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

He had in January 2016 cleared Najib of any wrongdoing pertaining to the funds in his accounts.

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