Hornbill Unleashed

August 11, 2017

Zaid files for review, wants AG’s case reheard without CJ

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim has filed an application for review over the Federal Court’s dismissal of his appeal for leave to challenge attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali’s decision not to prosecute Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak over the 1MDB scandal.

Zaid seeks to set aside the July 28 decision made by a three-member panel chaired by Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif, and have the case reheard by a new panel.

The application was filed at the Federal Court registry this morning.

In the former minister’s affidavit supporting the application, he cited that he had instructed his lawyers to inform the Federal Court registrar in attendance on July 28 that Justice Raus should be recused.

However, Zaid said the panel had dismissed his application, and the chief justice decided not to recuse himself, saying instead that he would judge the case in accordance with the law and facts.

Zaid, who is now a DAP member, said in his affidavit that this is not the correct legal test for recusal.

“My lawyer informed the bench that although the case is directed against the attorney-general, the real target of the review application was the prime minister and suspect in the criminal investigations relating to the receipt of a large sum of monies by him in his personal account with AmBank Islamic.

“It was the suspect who recommended the appointment of the chief justice to his position. Besides this, there is a strong personal relationship between the chief justice and the suspect (who is the prime minister).

“This is evidenced by the fact that the chief justice attended a religious ceremony held by the suspect on the suspect’s birthday. No other members of the Federal Court were present at that function,” Zaid claimed.

He accompanied his application with a copy of a photograph showing the chief justice in attendance at Najib’s tahlil (thanksgiving) event last month.

Zaid further said the panel chaired by Justice Raus applied the wrong test in determining recusal, and hence the decision to dismiss his lawyers’ leave application is considered null and void and of no effect because it is in violation of the rules of natural justice.

He claimed that for this reason, his application for review falls within Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995.

Rule 137 states: “For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that nothing in these rules shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the court to hear any application or to make any order as may be necessary to prevent injustice or to prevent an abuse of the process of the court.”

During the previous Federal Court hearing, Zaid’s lawyer and former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram had raised the issue of a purported charge sheet against the prime minister over the 1MDB scandal.

Besides Zaid, former Umno member Khairuddin Abu Hassan and the Malaysian Bar had on the same day applied for Justice Raus to recuse himself from hearing the case.

However, Justice Raus decided to continue hearing the case and dismissed all three applications for leave to appeal.

Khairuddin’s lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla informed reporters that his client had also filed an application for review of the July 28 decision yesterday on grounds similar to Zaid’s.

“The decision to dismiss the leave to appeal should be declared null and void,” Haniff said.

Source : Malaysiakini by Hafiz Yatim


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