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Shafee fails to obtain leave to appeal against court’s refusal to expunge affidavit

21 Jan 2021 / 15:30 H.

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court today struck out lawyer Tan Sri 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 Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

A three-member panel led by Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Rohana Yusuf said all the matters that Muhammad Shafee sought to raise in today’s proceedings can be raised in the main appeal hearing at the Court of Appeal scheduled in March.

This was after Muhammad 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 Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram appearing for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Senior Federal Counsel Suzana Atan for the government argued that Muhammad Shafee’s leave to appeal application was premature as issues on the admissibility of the affidavit could be raise and determine in the Court of Appeal.

The proceedings today before Justice Rohana and Federal Court judges Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan and Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal was conducted virtually.

Muhammad Shafee sought leave to pursue his appeal against the Court of Appeal’s refusal to expunge an affidavit by former Attorney-General Tan Sri 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 Muhammad Shafee from the former Prime Minister’s (Najib) bank accounts between 2013 and 2014.

The Court of Appeal in 2018, however, allowed Muhammad 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 and the appeal is scheduled to be heard on March 5.

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

In his affidavit, Anwar alleged that Muhammad Shafee 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 and also want a court order that the Federal Court’s decision in upholding the Court of Appeal’s decision was also null and void.

Anwar’s conviction and five-year jail term for sodomising Mohd Saiful were upheld by the Federal Court. Anwar, however, 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 also appeared with Suzana for the government. -Bernama

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