Rosmah's solar project trial: Defence closes case, oral submissions on April 5

23 Feb 2022 06:00pm
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex, today. - BERNAMA
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex, today. - BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR - The defence in the trial of Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who faces charges involving a hybrid solar project for rural schools in Sarawak, closed its case today after calling two witnesses.

High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan set April 5 to hear oral submissions from both parties after counsel Datuk Jagjit Singh, representing Rosmah, told the court that the defence has closed its case.

"I will reserve the whole day to hear the submissions. With that, I conclude our 42 days of trial with 25 of witnesses (23 from the prosecution, two from the defence including Rosmah) in several rounds on MCO (Movement Control Order).

"Thanks to the parties for providing assistance during the trial," said judge Mohamed Zaini.

He also fixed March 9 for the prosecution to file written submissions and March 30 for the defence to reply prosecution's submissions.

On Feb 18 last year, Judge Mohamed Zaini ordered Rosmah to defend herself on all three corruption charges involving the solar hybrid project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in proving a prima facie case against her.

Rosmah, 70, faces one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two charges of accepting bribes amounting to RM6.5 million from former managing director of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, Saidi Abang Samsudin.

The bribe was allegedly received through her former special officer Datuk Rizal Mansor, as a reward to help Jepak Holdings to obtain the Integrated Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Hybrid System Project as well as Genset/Diesel Maintenance and Operation for 369 schools worth RM1.25 billion through direct negotiations from the Education Ministry.

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Meanwhile, judge Mohamed Zaini dismissed Rosmah's defence team to recall star witness, Saidi, to testify regarding the withdrawal of RM1.5 million allegedly given to Rosmah.

The judge further said the defence had not raised any valid grounds to recall Saidi, who is also the 17th prosecution witness (PW17) and it would not serve in the interest of justice to allow the defence's application.

"I've gone through every page of the notes of proceedings pertaining to PW17 subjected to many days of cross-examination and had been vigorously cross-examined on the subject matter that the defence wishes to revisit.

"I also noted that subject matter had been extensively addressed when the defence made an application to impeach PW17.

To recall PW17 based on the reasons given by the defence will be tantamount to subjecting him to another round of cross-examination on the subject that I fully addressed. Therefore, the defence's application is dismissed," he added.

Earlier, another of Rosmah's counsel, Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader submitted that Saidi's testimony contradicted with the statement he gave to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

"Saidi gave two versions...When he testified, he said the RM1.5 million withdrawn from his account in September 2016 was given to Rosmah, in return for helping the company obtain a hybrid solar project for rural schools in Sarawak.

"However, when giving the statement to the MACC, Saidi admitted he used RM1.5 million for several purposes including to buy land in Kuching," the lawyer said.

Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, countered that PW17 was subjected to a lengthy and searching cross-examination over a period of three days.

"Every opportunity was given to the accused (Rosmah) to test the veracity of the witness. With respect, to permit a recall would militate against the justice of the case," he said adding that the defence was trying to delay the trial. - BERNAMA

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