Court throws out Rosmah’s bid to nullify solar project corruption trial

·2-min read
Court throws out Rosmah’s bid to nullify solar project corruption trial
Court throws out Rosmah’s bid to nullify solar project corruption trial

Rosmah Mansor did not succeed in her application to nullify her corruption case linked to the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid energy project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning dismissed the bid by Rosmah, who is the wife of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.

The decision on her application, initially set on Sept 9, was postponed to today.

The crux of Rosmah’s application to nullify her corruption trial hinged on the validity of former federal court judge Gopal Sri Ram’s letter of appointment for him to prosecute her case.

Sri Ram, who is now in private legal practice, is the lead prosecutor in the corruption trial against Rosmah (above), who on Feb 18 was ordered by the High Court to enter her defence.

During the High Court proceedings this morning, judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan ruled that Sri Ram's appointment by then attorney-general Tommy Thomas, to prosecute Rosmah's case, was properly done per Section 376 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

The judge noted that even though Sri Ram was initially appointed as DPP to handle the 1MDB-linked criminal cases against Najib, but Thomas later orally authorised Sri Ram to also prosecute Rosmah’s case.

“I believe that the authorisation by Tommy Thomas to Sri Ram to conduct the criminal prosecution in the applicant (Rosmah's) case is without doubt validly done under Section 376 (3),” Zaini said.

The judge pointed out that Sri Ram’s appointment to handle Rosmah’s case was further bolstered by two letters affirming this by current AG Idrus Harun, dated July 8 last year and May 21 this year respectively.

“The pertinent issue is whether Sri Ram’s appointment can be (done) retrospectively (to be DPP in Rosmah’s case).

“I agree with the prosecution that the Public Prosecutor (AG) has the power under Section 50 of the Interpretation Act, and is entitled to make Sri Ram’s appointment with retrospective effect,” Zaini said.

Section 50 of the Interpretation Act 1948 and 1967 states that any authority, empowered by written law to appoint a person to exercise any function, can make such an appointment with retrospective effect.

Zaini also denied an application from defence lawyers Akberdeen Abdul Kader and Jagjit Singh to stay Rosmah’s corruption trial, pending disposal of her appeal to the Court of Appeal against today’s verdict.

Rosmah is set to take the witness stand when the defence stage of her trial begins on Oct 5.

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