Court of Appeal dismisses Rosmah’s application to stay proceedings, must begin defence in graft trial tomorrow

On September 24, the High Court had dismissed Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s application to nullify her corruption case by disqualifying Sri Ram as the senior DPP in the trial. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
On September 24, the High Court had dismissed Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s application to nullify her corruption case by disqualifying Sri Ram as the senior DPP in the trial. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — The Court of Appeal today dismissed the application by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to stay proceedings pending an appeal to recuse senior deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram and subsequently declare the proceedings linked to the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid energy project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak a nullity.

Court of Appeal Judge, Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said who led a three-judge bench, said they have reached a unanimous decision after deliberating that no unusual circumstances, as argued by Rosmah in her application, had arisen from the proceedings that warrant for the application to be granted.

“We are of the view that the proceedings in the High Court would be continued but at the same time, the appeal can proceed meaning during the proceedings. If the appeal is fixed at the court of appeal, the trial can go on as well at the same time.

“So it does not prejudice the appellant however we wish that the date of the appeal can be expedited. So the application to stay is dismissed,’’ he said.

Other judges on the bench were Datuk Nordin Hassan and Datuk Hashim Hamzah.

Earlier in court today, Rosmah lawyers, Datuk Jagjit Singh and Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader both argued that the nature of Sri Ram’s appointment to the case could lead to the proceedings being declared a nullity and thus warrants as a special circumstance and it is crucial that the issue be disposed of before continuing with the proceedings.

However, Sri Ram argued that a stay of proceedings should be granted on the rarest of occasions and whether the proceedings would be declared a nullity does not warrant as a special circumstance.

On September 24, the High Court had dismissed Rosmah’s application to nullify her corruption case by disqualifying Sri Ram as the senior DPP in the trial.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan ruled that Sri Ram’s appointment under Sections 376, 377, 378 and 379 of the Criminal Procedure Code by the then attorney general Tommy Thomas in August 2018 was valid.

Rosmah, the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is charged with soliciting RM187.5 million from contractor Saidi Abang Samsudin in 2016 and 2017 for the Sarawak schools solar energy supply project, as well as receiving RM6.5 million in cash from him.

It is alleged that the money was meant to help Saidi’s company, Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, to secure the RM1.25 billion project to supply electricity to 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

The 69-year-old is scheduled to take the stand on October 5, when the defence case begins.

In February, Zaini ordered Rosmah to enter her defence on all three charges of corruption.

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