Rosmah told to answer all corruption charges related to RM1.25b Sarawak solar project

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex February 18, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex February 18, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was ordered today by the High Court to submit her defence to corruption charges related to the RM1.25 billion project for the supply of electricity to 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said that the prosecution has successfully proven a prima facie case against Rosmah on all of her three charges, including soliciting a bribe through her former special aide, Datuk Rizal Mansor. 

“It is my findings that the prosecution has adduced credible evidence to prove every element of the offences under the three charges, which, if unrebutted, warrants a conviction.” said Zaini.

With prima facie established against her, Rosmah has three options to make her defence — by sworn evidence from the witness stand where she will be subjected to cross-examination; by unsworn statement from the accused dock, or remaining silent.

Rosmah then informed the court that she chose to give a sworn statement from the witness stand. 

Rosmah, who sat in the dock in her baju kurung and scarf, appeared calm when Zaini delivered his decision. 

Najib, dressed in a blue suit, was present in court to support his wife.

Prior to reading out his decision, Zaini accepted the prosecution’s application to have the “Can I advise you something” audio clips and transcripts to be admitted as evidence, reversing his earlier ruling on the same matter that was reached on December 11, 2020. 

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission released the audio clips in January last year.

Zaini explained that it was his prerogative to review the matter and reverse his earlier ruling as the matter was still before him.

The prosecution previously applied to admit the audio clip as evidence in this trial to show Rosmah’s character and her “overbearing” nature. 

In the opening statement of the trial, the prosecution portrayed Rosmah as having wielded “considerable influence”, had the power to sway decisions in the public sector, and took active steps to help Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd secure the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project for rural schools in Sarawak. 

The court then set June 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 and July 12 and 15 as the initial dates for the defence stage of the trial. 

Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex February 18, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex February 18, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram then informed the court that the prosecution is ready to offer 10 witnesses for to the defence. 

In this trial, Rosmah is facing several charges, including allegedly receiving a RM5 million bribe and a RM1.5 million bribe from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd’s Saidi Abang Samsudin on the dates of December 20, 2016 and September 7, 2017 in exchange for helping the company get the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project. 

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