Sri Ram cleared of COVID-19


Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial, Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram (picture) has tested negative for COVID-19.

The 76-year-old former Federal Court Judge informed the results to Bernama via a short message.

“I have been cleared. Perfectly fine,” he texted.

Asked whether prosecution received any instructions from the High Court regarding postponement of 1MDB trial due to movement restriction order, Sri Ram said, “so far no updates”.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has declared that Malaysia will be placed under nationwide movement control order from March 18 to March 31, 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The order, the first in the country’s history, was announced by the prime minister in a live broadcast over national television last night.

Muhyiddin also said all government and private premises would be closed, except for those providing essential services.

Last Thursday, Sri Ram informed Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah who was presiding 1MDB trial that he was asked to be tested for the second time due to his close contact with two Patients-Under-Investigation (PUI) of Covid-19.

On the same day, the trial was vacated after the court was informed that Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s sister-in-law had had close contact with a Covid-19 patient and she, in turn, had contact with Muhammad Shafee on March 12.

On Friday, it was reported that Muhammad Shafee and his entire defence team have all tested negative for the virus.

Justice Sequerah had fixed this Thursday to continue the trial.

When the hearing resumes, Muhammad Shafee is expected to continue cross-examining the ninth prosecution witness, who is former 1MDB chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi.

Najib, 67, faces four charges of abusing his position to obtain gratification totalling RM2.3 billion in 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same funds.