Responding to Najib’s letter of demand, Muhyiddin reveals ex-PM sought help to remove Sri Ram from his case

(The Edge Markets) – Lawyers representing former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin claimed that sixth prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had sought help from the Pagoh member of Parliament to remove senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram from continuing to prosecute him.

This was revealed in a response to Najib’s letter of demand against Muhyiddin, after the latter said he had been approached by someone to intervene in a court case.

According to the nine-paragraph response by Muhyiddin’s lawyer dated Sept 17, 2021, to Najib’s solicitors:

“We are instructed to state that a matter of fact your client (Najib) did seek our client’s (Muhyiddin’s) interference in the court proceedings against your client, including but not limited to, at a meeting between your client (Najib) and our client (Muhyiddin) where your client complained over the appointment of Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as the lead prosecutor in the criminal proceedings pending against your client and sought our client’s (Muhyiddin’s) intervention in this regard.”

“Your client (Najib) is also aware of approaches made by intermediaries to our client (Muhyiddin), on your client’s behalf to intercede in the court’s proceedings. Our client reserves the right to disclose the full particulars of the manner in which your client (Najib) had sought to interfere in the several acts of interference,” the letter sighted by stated.

Najib’s lawyers had sent a letter of demand dated Sept 7 to Muhyiddin and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s information chief Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan, whereby he accused the two of being big liars for making such claims.

The Pagoh MP’s lawyers responded with the letter excerpted above on Sept 20.

Muhyiddin said he would not entertain interference in court proceedings

Muhyiddin’s solicitors reiterated that he had clearly stated that he would not entertain any attempt to seek any form of interference in court proceedings.

The legal letter also said that Najib was not entitled to damages for defamation, as he had already been convicted with regards to the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

Recall that Najib had filed two applications, namely a criminal and a judicial review application to remove Sri Ram, a former Federal Court judge from continuing in prosecuting him.

Besides being convicted and already sentenced to a 12-year jail term and RM210 million fine after being found guilty of offences related to SRC International — a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) — Najib is facing four other trials, two of which are on-going, while another two have yet to start.

Sri Ram is already leading the prosecution in the 1MDB-Tanore trial and the 1MDB audit tampering trial, while the two trials which have yet to commence is the 1MDB-IPIC case that also involve former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and the other RM27 million SRC International trial.

Najib’s appeal for a judicial review of Sri Ram’s appointment is pending at the Federal Court.

Last Friday, Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat revealed there has not been any approach made by anyone in the judiciary over Muhyiddin’s revelations that someone had approached the eighth Prime Minister to intervene in court matters.

Tengku Maimun said she had not been approached personally, and that judges decide cases according to evidence and the law.

“Judges make decisions on facts, evidence and testimonies and that is the principle. That is the core principle,” the CJ had said.

Malaysian Bar president AG Kalidas had raised the issue of Muhyiddin’s comments during the Opening of the Legal Year 2022 last Friday regarding the then Prime Minister coming under pressure from “certain parties” to intervene in matters of the court in order to set several individuals free from criminal charges.

Muhyiddin said this in a nationally televised address in August, adding that he did not bow to these demands.

Subsequently, the Pagoh MP who had lost majority support in Parliament resigned as PM and was replaced by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri. has reached out to Najib’s lawyers for response to the letter by Muhyiddin’s solicitors.