Najib fails to remove Gopal from leading 1MDB prosecution team again

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By Kasthuri Jeevendran

KUALA LUMPUR – Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has once again failed in his attempt to remove Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram from leading the prosecution team of the high profile 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case.

The Member of Parliament of Pekan had earlier made an application to dismiss the former Federal Court Judge from prosecuting the ongoing tempering 1MDB audit report trial.

In his verdict today, High Court Judge, Mohamed Zaini Mazlan rejected the judicial review presented by Najib as it is unmeritorious.

According to Zaini, the court would have done a different consideration if Gopal had demonstrated his biasness when carrying out his duty as the Deputy Public Prosecutor.

“The event nevertheless, as highlighted by the respondent, took place before Sri Ram was appointed as the Senior Public Prosecutor. More pertinent is the fact that the applicant had not made any complaints over Sri Ram’s conduct in the trials involving the applicant. This lends credence to the respondent’s contention that Sri Ram had been above board in his conduct as a Senior Public Prosecutor.

“There is no cogent evidence to support the applicant’s allegation and it remains purely hypothetical. This issue had in any event been canvassed by the applicant’s application (Najib) in the previous applications highlighted by the prosecution as respondent. It is a moot point,” he said.

Najib had earlier filed several applications at the court to recuse Gopal from leading the prosecution team and all of them have been rejected.

On 28 August last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court, before a different judge had rejected Najib’s judicial review to dismiss Gopal. This was followed by his second attempt to remove Gopal through a civil proceeding.

In his latest attempt, Najib tried to dismiss Gopal from leading the 1MDB final audit report tempering case. The Pekan MP is charged with using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report before it was presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to avoid any action being taken against him. The trial is scheduled to resume next Monday.

At the moment, the 1MDB corruption trial on is ongoing before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah with the testimony from the 10th witness. –MalaysiaGazette

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