EXPOSED: Gopal Sri Ram’s clear and indisputable conflict of interest
Then AG Apandi Ali alleged that Gopal Sri Ram had been sent to see him in January 2018 by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to persuade him to arrest Najib, the then prime minister. As such, Sri Ram has put himself in a position of conflict of interest with irreconcilable duties owed to private individuals on the one hand and the Government on the other.
DEEP THROAT IN AGC
1. On 7.5.2021, 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB”) through their solicitor, Lim Chee Wee Partnership commenced legal action against legal firm, Wong & Partners, along with its senior partner Brian Chia Hock Gee (“Brian Chia”) for a sum of US$1 billion and payment of legal fees of RM 664,821.21 for their alleged role in the fraud.
2. Wong & Partners through its statement (undated) said that the suit has no merits and sum claimed is unjustified. Wong & Partners further indicated that Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram and former president of the Malaysian Bar Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan were acting as counsels on the firm’s behalf.
3. On 12.5.2021, Sri Ram through The Edge, indicated that there is no conflict of interest in his representation in the Wong & Partner suit. He further pointed out that Brian Chia is an important witness for the ongoing 1MDB case and he has to defend Brian Chia in both arenas.
4. On 17.5.2021, 1MDB through their solicitor, Messrs. Skrine & Co commenced legal action against 15 Defendants, including the Dato’s Sri Najib (as the 1st Defendant) for their alleged role in the fraud.
5. On 19.7.2021, the Wong & Partners suit was withdrawn by 1MDB, without liberty to file afresh.
6. Sri Ram continues to appear and have conduct of the prosecution in the Dato’s Sri Najib’s cases.
SRI RAM ACTING IN CLEAR CONFLICT OF INTEREST
7. The fact that Datuk Sri Gopal Sri Ram representing Wong & Partners and Brian Chia indicate that he is taking a contrary view to the government because the government was of the view that the Wong & Partners and Brian Chia committed the act alleged in the civil suit.
8. By representing Wong & Partners and Brian Chia, it indicates that Datuk Sri Gopal Sri Ram is of the view that both Wong & Partners and Brian Chia did not commit the alleged conduct, which is also a view contrary to the Government.
9. Quite apart, Datuk Sri Gopal Sri Ram continues to act for other private individuals in other criminal proceedings brought by the Government and criminal appeals where the Government is the opposing party.
10. It cannot be denied that Datuk Sri Gopal Sri Ram’s position is now conflicted. In essence, while Datuk Sri Gopal Sri Ram representing the Government to prosecute 1MDB related cases, on the other hand he is defending other entities against the Government, in the same facts and evidences.
11. Datuk Sri Gopal Sri Ram has been privy to an amazing amount of material in relation to 1MDB in his involvement as a public prosecutor, which will compromise his impartiality.
12. A Deputy Public Prosecutor who is privy to confidential information, is to act at all times only for the interest of the State. However, Datuk Sri Gopal Sri Ram on the other hand, by virtue of his appointment as Deputy Public Prosecutor and Defence Counsel for Wong & Partners and other individuals connected to 1MDB, has failed to do so.
13. This has therefore culminated in an unprecedented circumstance wherein a Deputy Public Prosecutor who has the conduct of prosecution on behalf of the Government, also continues to act against the Government by representing the interests of private individuals, firms and/or corporations connected to 1MDB.
14. As such, Datuk Sri Gopal Sri Ram has put himself in a position of conflict of interest with irreconcilable duties owed to private individuals on the one hand and the Government on the other. On this basis, the fiat ought to be withdrawn so he can no longer act on behalf of the state in 1MDB related matters.
Former attorney-general Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali has claimed that Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, as senior deputy public prosecutor (DPP) in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) cases, has a “clear mission of bias” against the former premier.
The assertion came in an affidavit Apandi affirmed on Friday in support of Najib’s application to remove Sri Ram, a former Federal Court judge, from prosecuting him in the 1MDB audit tampering trial that will resume tomorrow.
Prior to that, Apandi alleged in a social-media post last week that Sri Ram had been sent to see him in January 2018 by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to persuade him to arrest Najib, the then prime minister.
In the affidavit, Apandi further said he communicated with Sri Ram via WhatsApp after the change of government on May 9, 2018 and asked the latter whether his job as attorney-general was on the line as Sri Ram was advising Dr Mahathir. In response, Apandi said Sri Ram said he wished Apandi had followed his advice and charged Najib.
READ MORE HERE: https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/apandi-claims-sri-ram-has-clear-mission-bias-against-najib