New Straits Times
Shafee questions Sulaiman’s appointment
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s criminal offence proceedings at the High Court yesterday began with fiery submissions from the prosecution and defence teams.
The proceedings which took centre stage was when Najib’s lead counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, questioned prominent lawyer Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah over his appointment as prosecutor.
Shafee requested Sulaiman, who was appointed by way of “fiat” (authorisation) by AttorneyGeneral Tommy Thomas, to produce his appointment letter as a new deputy public prosecutor.
He said this was to identify whether the appointment was under Section 376, 377 or 379 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
However, Sulaiman objected, saying he had not asked for Shafee’s certificate to practise.
“My appointment is confidential and was categorised under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).”
Shafee hit back at Sulaiman, saying that the defence merely wanted to verify whether the appointment was valid.
“This OSA nonsense has to stop.
“The post of DPP is a public one and their appointments are gazetted,” he said.
Sulaiman was appointed as lead prosecutor when Thomas recused himself.
Earlier, the case set the tone, when Shafee insisted that the prosecution team led by Sulaiman give them the hardcopy of the documents related to the trial.
Shafee said this was in line with Section 51A of the CPC, which states that prosecution shall before the commencement of the trial deliver to the accused documents related to the trial.
“This is not proper as they have to hand in documents and not in CD format,” he said.
Shafee claimed that he could not access some of the documents in the CD and demanded that the prosecution produce the hardcopies with indexing and content.
Shafee claimed the defence could not proceed with the pretrial conference as it could not make sense of the documents.