KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah today claimed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wanted him to be made special prosecutor in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's Sodomy II appeals.
In a six-page statement, Shafee claimed former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was not keen on appointing him as the prosecutor by way of fiat as the latter did not want to offend the-then Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail.
"In fact, he (Najib) was most reluctant. However, it was Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who insisted that I be appointed as the special prosecutor in Anwar's appeals as Dr Mahathir did not have the confidence that the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) would be able to competently manage the appeals," said Shafee.
He said Dr Mahathir's insistence was possibly due to the fact that the AGC had lost the Sodomy II case in the High Court.
Yesterday, Anwar today confirmed that his lawyers received an affidavit signed by an officer in the AGC which he alleged substantiates his claim that lawyer Shafee was paid RM9.5 million by Najib.
The sum was paid during the period from Sept 2013 to Feb 2014, according to the incoming PKR president.
In a statement issued by his office, Anwar had said it was known that Shafee served as the special prosecutor in the appeal of his acquittal beginning in July 2013 until the case concluded at the Federal Court in Feb 2015.
"I maintain that Tan Sri Shafee should never have been allowed to prosecute the Appeal in the first place. Appointing an outside prosecutor is not an ordinary practice by the Attorney-General, and is even more irregular in this case when the individual appointed is a known close confidante of Datuk Seri Najib, who is himself materially involved in the case.
"Tan Sri Shafee was also witness to events in the conspiracy against me that took place in the presence of Datuk Seri Najib, making both parties potential witnesses," Anwar had said.
With the alleged sum of RM9.5 million from Najib's personal bank account, Anwar had remarked that it destroyed Shafee's credibility as an unbiased agent of the AGC.
"The affidavit is being released to the public. I believe that in the New Malaysia we must be uncompromising in our commitment to the rule of law and to reestablishing credibility of the judiciary and the legal fraternity.
"These abuses of power should not be allowed to continue and there must be accountability.
"I ask those responsible for safeguarding our institutions to consider corrective steps that must be taken to give all Malaysians and the entire world confidence in the integrity of our legal system," Anwar had said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd