Sunday, May 9, 2021

Shafee fails in bid to appeal against court’s refusal to expunge affidavit on RM9.5 million from Najib

Court says the matters he sought to raise can be raised at the main appeal hearing in March.

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The Federal Court today struck out lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s application to obtain leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s refusal to expunge an affidavit containing the allegation that he had received RM9.5 million from Najib Razak.

A three-member panel led by Court of Appeal president Rohana Yusuf said the matters Shafee sought to raise in today’s proceedings could be raised at the main appeal hearing at the Court of Appeal in March.

This was after Shafee’s counsel Harvinderjit Singh agreed to withdraw the leave to appeal application if parties were in agreement that the issue on the admissibility of the affidavit had not been determined.

Lawyer Gopal Sri Ram, appearing for Anwar Ibrahim, and senior federal counsel Suzana Atan for the government, argued that Shafee’s leave to appeal application was premature as issues on the admissibility of the affidavit could be raised and determined in the Court of Appeal.

The proceedings today before justice Rohana and Federal Court judges Nallini Pathmanathan and Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal were conducted virtually.

Shafee had sought leave to pursue his appeal against the Court of Appeal’s refusal to expunge an affidavit by former attorney-general Tommy Thomas’s special task officer Siti Rahayu Mohd Mumazani and to cross-examine her.

Siti Rahayu had filed an affidavit containing an allegation that RM9.5 million was paid to Shafee from the former prime minister’s bank accounts between 2013 and 2014.

The Court of Appeal in 2018, however, allowed Shafee to intervene in Anwar’s appeal in relation to his civil action against the government over his sodomy conviction against his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Anwar, who is Port Dickson MP, is appealing to the Court of Appeal against the Nov 8, 2017, decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court to allow the government’s application to strike out his originating summons. The appeal is scheduled to be heard on March 5.

In his originating summons filed against the government on June 9, 2017, Anwar claimed that he did not get a fair trial in the appeal against his sodomy conviction.

In his affidavit, Anwar alleged that Shafee had received RM9.5 million from Najib to lead the prosecution team in the appeal over his sodomy conviction.

He sought a declaration that his conviction by the Court of Appeal on March 7, 2014 was ultra vires the Federal Constitution and thus null and void. He also sought a court order that the Federal Court’s decision to uphold the Court of Appeal’s ruling was null and void.

Anwar’s conviction and five-year jail term for sodomising Saiful were upheld by the Federal Court. However, he was given a full pardon by the king on May 16, 2018.

Lawyer J Leela also appeared for Anwar while senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan appeared with Suzana for the government.

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