KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29): Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun on Sunday (Jan 29) said the prosecution in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd related cases including involving former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak will continue with the prosecution team from the AG Chambers and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
This is despite the sudden passing of senior Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram on Sunday afternoon at a private hospital here. Sri Ram, a former Federal Court judge, had led the prosecution team in the 1MDB-Tanore case.
“1MDB cases will continue with the present prosecution team comprising DPPs from the AG Chambers and the MACC,” he said in a brief text message to The Edge.
The 1MDB-Tanore trial involving Najib resumes on Monday (Jan 30) and throughout this week before High Court judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah. It proceeded on Friday (Jan 27) without Sri Ram’s presence, as he was in hospital.
Sri Ram, 79, passed away at a private hospital in KL at about 12:15pm, said to be due to a lung infection.
Besides the 1MDB-Tanore trial where Najib is facing four counts of abuse of power and 21 counts of money laundering of RM2.28 billion in 1MDB funds, Sri Ram led the prosecution in the 1MDB audit tampering trial.
High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan (recently elevated to the Court of Appeal) was supposed to deliver its verdict on whether to call Najib to enter his defence in the 1MDB audit tampering trial where he is charged along with former 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy on Tuesday (Jan 31).
However, the court had indicated that it would deliver its verdict on March 3.
Presently, Najib, who had been found guilty with regard to abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering over 1MDB’s former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd, is serving 12 years of jail and fined RM210 million.
Sri Ram also led a successful prosecution team in prosecuting Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor with three counts of graft in relation to the solar hybrid case involving 369 rural schools in Sarawak, of which she was sentenced to 10 years of jail and a RM970 million fine.
He was supposed to lead the prosecution in Rosmah’s appeal, which is pending at the Court of Appeal.
Besides this, Najib, along with former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, is also facing six counts of criminal breach of trust in relation to the government’s dealings of a sum of US$6.6 billion of funds to International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC)
In addition, Najib has another RM27 million money laundering case involving SRC International funds.
Both the IPIC and second SRC case have yet to begin.
Earlier, Idrus in a statement described Sri Ram, whom he had known since 1980, as very courteous, humble and always willing to share his immense legal knowledge qualities, which he always carried with him. Idrus described Sri Ram’s passing as a great loss.