KUALA LUMPUR: Prominent lawyer Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah revealed that it was Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who had wanted him to handle the prosecution for PKR president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II appeals.
In a statement today to deny allegations that he was paid RM9.5 million to handle the prosecution against Anwar, Shafee said Dr Mahathir, who is now the prime minister, had wanted him to be a special prosecutor in the case.
Shafee said former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was not to keen on the idea of appointing him by way of fiat (a legal authoritative decision that has absolute sanction) for the appeals.
He said the appointment was one of the six demands made by Dr Mahathir for Najib in exchange for continued support for his administration.
“He (Najib) did not want to offend the then attorney-general, Tan Sri Gani Patail. In fact, he was most reluctant (to make the appointment).
“However, it was Dr Mahathir who insisted that I be appointed as the special prosecutor as he was not confident that the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) would be able to competently manage the appeals.
“This is probably due to the fact that the AGC had lost the Sodomy II case in the High Court. Further, they had lost earlier in the Federal Court the Sodomy I case.”
Shafee said he was summoned by Dr Mahathir sometime between June and July in 2013 through the latter’s associate Matthias Chang, for a meeting at the Perdana Foundation in Putrajaya.
“Soon, I learned that Najib had also met Dr Mahathir slightly earlier. I learned subsequently that Dr Mahathir had managed to persuade Najib to convince the Attorney-General to appoint me by way of fiat as a special prosecutor in these appeals.
“I was told of this after Najib had left the Perdana Foundation, by Dr Mahathir himself.
“I learnt from Chang that my appointment was the first of the six demands Dr Mahathir made to Najib at that meeting. Otherwise (if the demand was not met) he (Dr Mahathir) would go against Najib.
“Within a matter of days or so, I was communicated by the offices of Dr Mahathir and the prime minister that I should meet Gani for the purposes of the appointment, as everything has been agreed to for my appointment.” © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd