KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor has denied that she was forced out of the courtroom where her husband Datuk Seri Najib Razak is being tried for corruption, contrary to news reports earlier today.
Rosmah told Malay Mail that she left the courtroom of her own volition, after the High Court judge presiding over Najib’s case today was notified of her presence and the possibility that she may be called as a witness in Najib’s trial on charges involving millions of funds belonging to former 1Malaysia Development Berhad subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.
“I want to categorically state that I was not at any point, booted out of the court, or forced/ordered to leave the proceeding as some reports had inaccurately stated.
“I was present at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex this morning for my own case matter, after which I attended Datuk Seri Najib’s.
“The deputy public prosecutor handling Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s case, upon realising my presence, had informed that High Court judge about it, saying that as I will be a potential witness, I should not be present at the ongoing trial.
“Upon hearing the justification, as a law-abiding citizen, I decided to leave immediately, on my own, without any coercion or order,” she said.
Earlier today, Najib’s trial was briefly interrupted after prosecutors objected to Rosmah’s presence when she showed up.
Wearing a red baju kurung, Rosmah was seated in the front row with her lawyer Datuk K. Kumaraendran when Najib’s trial began shortly after 9.30am.
Realising Rosmah’s presence, ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram then interrupted Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s cross examination of the prosecution’s 39th witness Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, a former director of SRC International.
Sithambaram pointed out that Rosmah has had her statement taken by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and could potentially be called as a witness to testify.
Rosmah is usually absent from the courtroom during Najib’s cases but today marked her rare appearance in the public gallery while trial was underway.
Shafee then informed the court that he would leave it to the High Court to make a decision on the matter.
However, before Justice Mohd Nazlan could make a ruling, Rosmah had already stood up and made for the exit accompanied by Kumaraendran.
Najib is being tried for seven charges of abuse of position, criminal breach of trust and money-laundering over RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds.
Trial resumed after Rosmah left.