Judge in Zahid’s case right to use Rosmah verdict, says Sri Ram

(FMT) – Ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram has rebutted the argument by Rosmah Mansor’s lawyer that the High Court judge who acquitted Ahmad Zahid Hamidi could not use her case as comparison.

Sri Ram told FMT the judgment in Rosmah’s case had become persuasive authority, notwithstanding an appeal lodged by the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak.

He said “with respect, and not accepting that the acquittal of Zahid by Shah Alam High Court judge Yazid Mustafa to be correct”, it was not wrong for him to rely Rosmah’s judgment as a comparison.

“The judgment in PP v Rosmah Mansor is capable of being used as precedent.

“A pending appeal does not prevent a judgment becoming final until its reversal. Any standard work on the subject will confirm this elementary rule,” he told FMT in a text message.

Earlier today, one of Rosmah’s lawyers, Akberdin Abdul Kader, said Yazid, who acquitted the Umno president, was wrong to use his client’s case to distinguish the facts.

Akberdin said the reference to the facts in Rosmah’s solar energy project corruption case was premature as her appeal was pending in the Court of Appeal.

On Sept 1, another judge, Zaini Mazlan, had found Rosmah guilty and sentenced her to 10 years’ jail and a fine of RM960 million.

In acquitting Zahid without calling for his defence last Friday, Yazid said it was improbable that Zahid had received S$600,000 in an envelope as no sample of the envelope used was tendered as evidence.

Yazid then compared the case with Rosmah’s where the evidence revealed that bribes paid to her in cash were put into two bags and two knapsacks.

Zahid, 69, had been accused of 33 counts of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM42 million) from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd between 2014 and 2018 while he was home minister.

He was also charged with seven other counts of obtaining for himself the sums of S$1.15 million, RM3 million, 15,000 Swiss francs and US$15,000 from the same company in connection with his official duties.

Yesterday, prosecutors filed an appeal against Zahid’s acquittal.