Defence claims MACC ‘witch hunt’ led to ‘selective, malicious prosecution’ against Rosmah

(MMO) – Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s defence lawyers today claimed that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has acted with “selective and malicious prosecution’’ against her after choosing not to bring up charges against other parties who allegedly solicit and received gratification from Jepak Holding Sdn Bhd.

Defence counsel Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kadir had posited that the MACC allegedly chose not to charge Pekan Umno secretary Datuk Aazmey Abu Talib and former education minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, and even withdrew charges against Datuk Rizal Mansor, despite having sufficient evidence in relation to the award of the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project to Jepak Holdings.

Akberdin made the assertions during cross-examination of the case’s investigative officer, Noornabilah Mohd Aziman from the MACC, who is standing as the prosecution 23rd witness.

“I say that these charges are a form of malicious prosecution. It is a witch hunt as those who were previously charged have their charges retracted just because the MACC wanted to charge Rosmah.

“The MACC was even ready to charge Datuk Aazmey with 20 charges, but till today, he has not been charged. We have not even talked yet about Mahdzir Khalid,” he said.

Noornabilah simply answered that she was only investigating the offences allegedly committed by Rosmah and was not involved in investigations related to Mahdzir, Aazmey and Rizal.

“I am merely investigating Datin Seri Rosmah and have no involvement in these other cases,’’ she said.

Akberdin then pressed her again, positing that the MACC’s reputation and integrity had been tarnished for dropping criminal charges against Rizal, who was originally charged together with Rosmah prior to the start of the trial.

This drew a retort from senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram who stated that the power to pursue or drop criminal charges are solely at the discretion of the prosecution and not the MACC.

“It is not fair to ask her. It is up to the prosecutor’s discretion,” he said.

Akberdin claimed the MACC was due to charge Aazmey for allegedly receiving close to RM2 million from Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin for facilitating the procurement of the RM1.25 solar hybrid project but did not follow through with criminal charges.

Previously in court, businessmen Rayyan Radzwil Abdullah also testified that Mahdzir solicited RM60 million, to be paid over the course of five years, from Saidi in exchange for awarding the contract to Jepak Holdings.

It was also reported in 2018 that Mahdzir was due to be charged over his alleged role in awarding the project to Jepak Holdings.

For Rizal, he was previously charged with allegedly helping Rosmah ask for a RM187.5 million bribe from Saidi and for allegedly seeking a smaller sum of RM25 million for himself, and also with allegedly receiving a RM5 million bribe from Saidi on behalf of Rosmah and for allegedly receiving a RM500,000 bribe from Saidi for himself.

Rizal had been scheduled to be jointly tried with Rosmah, but the prosecution withdrew the charges against him in January, before the start of the trial.

In this trial, Rosmah is accused of soliciting RM187.5 million in bribes from Saidi, of accepting a RM1.5 million bribe directly from him and a separate RM5 million bribe via Rizal, in exchange for helping Jepak Holdings win a RM1.25 billion solar energy project from the Education Ministry.