Lawyers stand up for appointing senior counsel to deal with SRC, 1MDB prosecution

Lawyers say Sulaiman (left) and Sri Ram bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to deal with matters with decorum and ethics.

PETALING JAYA: The government will be represented by two of the best legal brains when the state picks up the council representing those accused of crimes related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd, lawyers said.

They said Sulaiman Abdullah and Gopal Sri Ram had a wealth of experience and knowledge to deal with matters with decorum and ethics.

The lawyers said that the rakyat could rest assured that the prosecution would be carried out fairly and effectively.

Lawyer S N Nair said that Sulaiman was a fearless, reliable criminal and civil lawyer with a keen intellect and an impeccable legal spirit.

SN Nair.

& # 39; He expresses his thoughts as he thinks necessary in court. The man is an advocate of details and I enjoyed him immensely during my legal training as a rookie lawyer, "said Nair who worked with Sulaiman in the defense of Anwar Ibrahim who was accused of sodomy in 1998.

As for Sri Ram, Nair said his ability in the law was equally formidable – both on the couch and in the bar.

"His judgments while sitting on the couch speak volumes about his ability as a criminal and civil lawyer," Nair said, adding that every defender, including Mohammed Shafee Abdullah, who heads the defense of Najib Razak, would have his hands full.

He said the deployment was very high because the government would lose its credibility if the prosecutors failed to obtain convictions against defendants.

Nair said this in response to the surprise action of Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas to appoint Sulaiman and Sri Ram as ad hoc public prosecutors to deal with these cases, which will attract media coverage worldwide.

Sri Ram is a retired judge in the federal court and is back in the legal profession, while Sulaiman, a former judicial lecturer, has appeared in various cases of public interest.

Thomas announced yesterday that he acted as chief prosecutor in the trial of former Prime Minister Najib and in the preparation of the 1MDB case and instead appoints the two senior lawyers to do so.

Sulaiman will lead the prosecution team in the lawsuit against Najib who is faced with a criminal violation of trust, abuse of power and money laundering.

The costs are related to the RM42 million reportedly deposited on his personal bank accounts by SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1MDB but now under the Ministry of Finance.

Najib will face a trial from February 12 to March 29 next year.

Sri Ram has been appointed senior deputy public prosecutor to direct the investigation process of investigative documents, the preparation of charges and the prosecution of accused persons involved in 1MDB-related offenses.

Thomas said he had come to realize that he is his & # 39; heavy obligations & # 39; if AG and public prosecutor could not combine, because he had to fulfill many different tasks as the chief officer with a government agency that carried out various reforms – and also had to prosecute the case.

Lawyer N Sivananthan said that the appointments were an exceptionally positive development and the AG must be congratulated because he was generous in making this decision.

N Sivananthan.

"The government now has the advantage of having the best legal minds to guide her in this rather complicated and unique persecution she faces," he said.

Sivananthan, who had urged the AG in the past to consider appointing lawyers, said that Thomas's decision effectively introduced an independent and impartial decision-making process.

He said that the AG could take a decision on the statements of defendants to reduce or reduce burdens without being in a conflict position.

Sivananthan said that the special license given to Sulaiman and Sri Ram also removed the concerns of any conflict between the deputy prosecutors in the current team, which might have been initiated in the previous decision-making process to exclude Najib.

Attorney Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali said that the complex SRC and 1MDB scandal, which had engulfed the nation, had crystallized in full criminal proceedings against Najib and others.

"This will be a test that will put Malaysia in the spotlight, which is why the nation's best legal brains must represent the government to ensure that the prosecutor presents watertight cases, and to ensure a fair trial," he said.

Rafique said that the two senior lawyers performed a national service by not charging the government any legal costs.

He said that the legal knowledge and advocacy skills of the duo were an advantage, because they could also read the maneuvers of the defense and even possible questionable tactics.

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