KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — In the opening statement on her defence to corruption charges related to the RM1.25 billion project for the supply of electricity to 369 rural schools in Sarawak, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s lawyer argued that she was made a “scapegoat” by incompetent parties including her former aide Datuk Seri Rizal Mansor in their process to allegedly enrich themself through corrupt means.
Rosmah’s lawyer, Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader said the prosecution against Rosmah is “selective prosecution”, done in bad faith despite her former aide being the “mastermind” who solicited and received corrupt funds.
“The charges against the accused (Rosmah) is none other to make the accused as the scapegoat by other parties that are not competent within the government administration specifically within the Education Ministry of Malaysia at the time who was in cahoots with parties from Jepak Holdings.
“In fact, the accused have stressed that there are parties who have dropped the accused’s name for their own personal or political agenda,’’ he said.
In her defence, Akberdin said Rosmah had never solicited bribes from Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin and his business partner, Rayyan Radzwil Abdullah directly or indirectly through Rizal and said the idea of contributing political funds to Barisan Nasional as means to show their gratitude to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, through Rosmah, was solely Saidi and Rayyan’s idea.
Akberdin also argued that Rizal had “cut a deal” with the prosecution to turn “crown witness” despite being the one who had schemed to solicit bribes from Saidi and Rayyan without Rosmah’s knowledge, for his own personal and political agenda.
The charges against Rizal were also purportedly dropped in order for him to give a “false” statement in court to implicate and trap the accused with the criminal charges, said Akberdin.
“If Rizal had not cooperated with the prosecution to implicate the accused with false statements, then the prosecution would have brought up new charges against Rizal, this shows that the prosecution is mala fide (malicious) towards the accused despite the charges against the accused being baseless,’’ he said.
In this trial, Rosmah is facing several charges, including allegedly receiving a RM5 million bribe and a RM1.5 million bribe from Jepak Holdings and Saidi, on December 20, 2016.
She is also charged with soliciting RM187.5 million from Saidi 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 Holding, to secure the RM1.25 billion project to supply electricity to 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
In February, High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan ordered Rosmah to enter her defence on all three charges of corruption.