Court grants Rosmah passport for Singapore trip to be with daughter who’s giving birth to second child

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor is pictured at Kuala Lumpur High Court October 5, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor is pictured at Kuala Lumpur High Court October 5, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — The High Court today allowed Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to temporarily take back her passport so she can go to Singapore to be with her pregnant daughter when the latter gives birth.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan granted the order after hearing the application from Rosmah’s lawyers. The prosecution also said it had no objections as long as it does not interfere with the corruption trial dates or delays hearing, and the accused conforms to the timeline as agreed.

“The applicant’s passport to be returned to her, on October 15, 2021, today itself, and must be returned on or before December 6, 2021, with the condition that the applicant can only leave the country to Singapore from October 22, 2021 and must return to Malaysia on or before November 21, 2021,” the judge said.

When making the application earlier, Rosmah’s lawyer Datuk Jagjit Singh told the court that his client plans to return to Kuala Lumpur on or before November 24.

He added that she would undergo a 14-day quarantine and return the passport to the court by December 6 and that this would not affect a trial date scheduled on December 8.

“As agreed, My Lord, the prosecution has no objection to this application and we leave it to Your Lordship to determining the application by my learned friend, subject that it will not touch any of the trial dates and they will strictly adhere to timeline as agreed, so there would not be any further delays to proceedings,” deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam told the court.

Mustaffa said the Health Ministry also confirmed that the quarantine period for those entering Malaysia from abroad would be 14 days.

The judge wanted Rosmah back in the country earlier, noting that the end of the 14-day quarantine would be December 8 — which is also the same day scheduled for the corruption trial.

“I’m not agreeable to November 24, I suggest we give one or two days’ grace period, because we don’t know what will happen. I’m thinking of November 21, that will be alright isn’t it, that gives you a buffer of two days before the trial starts. It’s only three days less,” the judge said.

He then decided on November 21 as the date that Rosmah has to return to Malaysia.

Rosmah was not seen in the courtroom today.

Rosmah filed the application on October 12, asking the court to temporarily release her passport so she could go to Singapore on the last week of this month and said she would return on the first week of December.

In her application, she also asked for the police and the Immigration Department to provide their cooperation so she could travel unimpeded, but the judge did not grant this order as he said it was not within his purview.

Rosmah, the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, said she needed to be with their daughter Nooryana Najwa who is expected to deliver a second child in Singapore.

According to Rosmah, Nooryana has a history of complications during delivery.

As such, Rosmah said she needs to be with the daughter in Singapore before, during and after delivery in order to provide assistance, emotional support and care.

Nooryana had tied the knot with her husband, Daniyar Kessikbayev, a Kazakhstan national in 2015. Both are currently residing in Singapore.

Kessikbayev is the nephew of former Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who stepped down from office in March of 2019 after nearly 30 years in power.

In her court application to get back her passport, Rosmah said she is aware of the consequences if she were to fail to attend her trial, in which an arrest warrant could be issued and the bail money could be forfeited.

She said she had never failed to attend trial without reasonable cause, and promised to surrender her passport to the court quickly upon her return to Malaysia.

Rosmah’s passport was impounded by the court in 2019 after she was charged for corruption involving a government project worth RM1.25 billion for an integrated hybrid power generation system involving solar panels, as well as the maintenance and operation of diesel generators for the supply of electricity to 369 schools in rural Sarawak.

In this corruption trial, Rosmah is facing three 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.

Rosmah is also accused of soliciting RM187.5 million from Saidi in January to April 2016.

The next trial date for Rosmah’s corruption case is on October 21, with other scheduled trial dates this year being December 8 to 10, December 13, December 23 and December 24.

Separately, Rosmah also has another trial involving 17 money laundering charges, namely 12 charges involving the deposits of RM7,097,750 (over RM7 million) of funds allegedly from unlawful activities into her Affin Bank account via 235 transactions between December 2013 and June 2017, and five charges are over Rosmah’s alleged failure to declare the same RM7,097,750 amount to the Inland Revenue Board for five tax assessment years from 2013 to 2017 as required under the Income Tax Act.

Rosmah’s money laundering trial has yet to start, and is scheduled for case management on November 3.

The High Court had in February this year scheduled for Rosmah’s money laundering trial to start on November 15, with other trial dates currently scheduled being November 16, 17, 29, 30, December 1, 2, 13 and 14, as well as trial dates in January 2022.

It remains to be seen whether the money laundering trial dates would be rescheduled to give way for the corruption trial to proceed first, as has been seen in other cases such as with Najib —- who also faces multiple trials and with trials that have yet to start being deferred to enable the ongoing trials to proceed first.

The total bail amount that had been put up for Rosmah’s two trials is RM3 million — RM1 million for the corruption case and RM2 million for the money laundering case.

It is understood that Rosmah’s application for her temporary passport release was for both the corruption trial and money laundering trial that are both before judge Zaini.

Zaini’s order to allow the temporary passport release is also in relation to both trials.

This means Rosmah does not need to make two separate applications for her passport release, as was done recently by former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi where he applied and received approval in two separate court hearings for temporary release of his passport.

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