New Straits Times

Shafee questions Sulaiman’s appointmen­t

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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.

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