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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Najib and Shafee seek to strike out Anwar's discovery application

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah have sought to strike out a discovery application made by Anwar Ibrahim for them to reveal their financial statements in relation to an alleged RM9.5 million payout. 
Najib's documents were served on Anwar's lawyers today after he filed his application to strike out Anwar's bid at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Shafee's lawyers filed an application today.
Najib's lawyer Mohd Hafarizam Harun told reporters that one of the grounds for striking out Anwar's discovery application was that it amounted to a "fishing expedition". 
"Furthermore, the application is frivolous and vexatious," he said.
Sarah Abishegam, who is a lawyer from Shafee's firm, added that they sought to strike out Anwar's application on the grounds that it was improper for the High Court to decide on judgments made by the Federal Court with regard to Anwar's Sodomy II conviction.
Last month, Anwar (photo) had filed an application to set aside his Sodomy II conviction in light of the alleged RM9.5 million payout made by Najib to Shafee via two payments.
He also filed a discovery application, in which he sought for Najib to reveal statements from any bank account he possessed, between Aug 2013 and Oct 2013, and Jan 2014 to March 2014, especially in relation to the alleged payments of RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million to Shafee on Sept 11, 2013 and Feb 17 2014, respectively.
He also sought Shafee's financial statement from the same period.
Anwar's lawyers N Surendran and Latheefa Koya also told reporters that Justice Kamaludin Md Said had today made a decision to recuse himself from hearing the case.
Justice Kamaludin made the decision in his chambers after meeting the parties this afternoon.
“Now the case has been fixed on Aug 10 for case management before a deputy registrar to decide on who would hear the case,” Surendran and Latheefa said.
Justice Kamaludin decided to recuse himself as he was said to have acted as the prosecutor in three different cases involving Anwar. 
It was previously reported that the government also sought to strike out Anwar's latest suit to set aside his sodomy II conviction and sentence on the ground that it was unconstitutional.

Anwar's action was prompted by a report by whistleblower website Sarawak Report which claimed that Najib had paid Shafee the sum between September 2013 and February 2014.
Shafee was appointed by the government as the chief prosecutor when Sodomy II reached the Court of Appeal and Federal Court stage after Anwar was acquitted by the High Court.
In his supporting affidavit to the application, the former deputy prime minister stated: “Shafee was employed by the public prosecutor to pursue the appeal against me. This is contrary to the ordinary practice of the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the office of the public prosecutor. Normally, the ordinary practice is to place the prosecution of a criminal case at the trial and appellate levels in the hands of the DPP from the chambers." - Mkini

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