Rosmah graft ‘guilty or acquit’ verdict tomorrow
(Bernama) – After almost a four-year trial, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor will know tomorrow whether she will be acquitted or convicted on three corruption charges relating to the solar hybrid project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan is scheduled to pronounce his verdict at 9 am in an open court.
However, she has filed a last-minute application to recuse Judge Mohamed Zaini from hearing or making a decision on the case.
The application was filed yesterday on the grounds of the purported leaked judgment of her case which was prepared by another party that was viralled by the mass and electronic media last Aug 26 .
It was learnt that the High Court will deal with the application first tomorrow.
The-70-year old wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings former managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin.
The case was conducted by senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, while lawyers Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader and Datuk Jagjit Singh represented Rosmah.
On Feb 18, 2021, Rosmah was ordered to enter her defence on the three charges after the prosecution succeeded in proving a prima facie case against her.
The defence closed its case last Feb 23, after calling two witnesses namely the accused herself and former director of the First Lady of Malaysia (FLOM) division Datuk Seri Siti Azizah Sheikh Abod.
Najib, was supposed to give evidence as the third defence witness. However, on Jan 10, the defence informed the court that they would not be calling the former prime minister to testify.
The prosecution had on Dec 11, 2020 wrapped up its case against Rosmah after calling 23 witnesses in the trial which started on Feb 5 the same year.
Among the witnesses called were Saidi, Rosmah’s former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor, former Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and the ministry’s then secretary-general Tan Sri Madinah Mohamed.
Rosmah was initially supposed to be tried with Rizal, 47, who was charged with four counts of soliciting and receiving bribes on her behalf over the project.
However, the court, on Jan 8, 2020, acquitted Rizal of the charges after the prosecution withdrew all four charges against him. He then became a key prosecution witness.
Rosmah had, on Nov 15, 2018, pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here to two corruption charges.
On the first count, she was charged with dishonestly soliciting for herself, made through Rizal, a gratification of RM187.5 million, which is 15 per cent of the value of the contract for the project, from Saidi.
It was as an inducement to help the company (Jepak Holdings) to secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project and Maintenance and Operation of Genset/Diesel for 369 rural schools in Sarawak, worth RM1.25 billion through direct negotiation from the Education Ministry.
She was charged with committing the offence at Lygon Cafe’, G-24, Ground Floor, Sunway Putra Mall, 100, Jalan Putra, Chow Kit, here between March and April 2016.
On the second count, Rosmah was charged with dishonestly receiving for herself RM1.5 million from Saidi for the same purpose at her residence in Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta, here on Sept 7, 2017.
On April 10, 2019, Rosmah was charged again in the Sessions Court here with accepting gratification of RM5 million from Saidi through Rizal for helping Jepak Holdings to secure the same project on Dec 20, 2016, at Seri Perdana residence in Putrajaya.
The charges, framed under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act, which provides for imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
All the cases had been transferred from the Sessions Court to the High Court for trial presided by Judge Mohamed Zaini.