Shafee’s allegation against me ‘scandalous, despicable, false’, says S’pore lawyer
The primary reason why the application filed by Shafee to adduce fresh evidence in the Federal Court pertaining to trial judge Nazlan Ghazali’s previous role as general counsel for Maybank and his involvement with 1MDB failed was because the evidence was already known to Shafee while Najib’s trial was on-going, he said. “The so-called ‘fresh’ evidence was not fresh as understood by the law. It was already known to Shafee and his team, as Najib’s counsel.
(FMT) – A senior Singapore lawyer has branded allegations by Shafee Abdullah about him in the Federal Court “contemptuous” and “shockingly false”.
“I am not surprised that he would stoop so low because that is characteristic of him,” Niru Pillai said in a statement.
“His diabolical allegation that I am ‘about to be disciplined by the Singaporean Bar’ because (I) was practising without licence,’ is scandalous, despicable and false.
“(Shafee) fails to realise that there is a lot on record in writing, including recorded conversations and WhatsApp messages, of what actually transpired.
“These will speak for themselves at the appropriate time and forum so that Shafee will be laid bare for all to see.”
Niru was responding to comments by Shafee about him at the hearing of Najib Razak’s bid last week to secure a review by the Federal Court of its decision to affirm the former prime minister’s conviction and sentence in the SRC International corruption case.
He said Shafee was merely engaging in the “predictable conduct” of seeking to mask his “inadequacies and failings” by “casting aspersions on everyone, including the trial judge”.
The primary reason why the application filed by Shafee to adduce fresh evidence in the Federal Court pertaining to trial judge Nazlan Ghazali’s previous role as general counsel for Maybank and his involvement with 1MDB failed was because the evidence was already known to Shafee while Najib’s trial was on-going, he said.
“The so-called ‘fresh’ evidence was not fresh as understood by the law. It was already known to Shafee and his team, as Najib’s counsel.
“That knowledge was legally attributable to Najib,” said Niru, pointing out that this was the decision arrived at by the Federal Court when disposing the application in August last year.
“Shafee’s allegation that he did not know stretches credibility and credulity,” he said.
Niru said Shafee is unable to explain his “colossal failing and gross negligence” in the conduct of Najib’s trial.
“Hence his convenient deflecting invective against (lawyer Zaid Ibrahim) and me,” he said.
He said that, at Zaid’s request, he secured the services of two of India’s foremost senior advocates, Sidharth Luthra and Kavin Gulati.
“My role was purely to coordinate between the Indian team and (Zaid’s) team,” he said.
Although Najib’s initial intention was for Shafee’s and Zaid’s teams to work together, he said, Shafee’s “shenanigans shocked even Najib” and led the former prime minister to terminate Shafee’s services and appoint Zaid’s team to take over.
“(Shafee) contrived to pretend he did know what documents we wanted, and only provided documents in constipated dribs and drabs.
“The Indian senior advocates were completely frustrated and flabbergasted by his antics and idiosyncrasies.
“These are all well documented,” he said.
Najib, 69, filed for the review in September last year, shortly after the apex court affirmed his conviction for abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in the SRC case.
On Aug 23, a five-member bench chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat also maintained Najib’s 12-year jail term and fine of RM210 million or, in default, an additional five years in prison.
Najib is asking for that decision to be set aside and for another Federal Court bench consisting of at least seven judges to rehear his appeal.
On Aug 16, before the hearing of the appeal proper, he saw a motion for leave to introduce additional evidence and disqualify Nazlan, who presided over the trial, thrown out by the bench.
The court then refused his request for an adjournment to enable his new team of lawyers to prepare and argue the merits of his appeal.