Will Rosmah be freed or sentenced to jail?

31 Aug 2022 11:09am
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor will know her fate on Sept 1 whether she will be acquitted or found guilty of three counts of corruption linked to the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid energy project. - Photo: BERNAMA
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor will know her fate on Sept 1 whether she will be acquitted or found guilty of three counts of corruption linked to the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid energy project. - Photo: BERNAMA

SHAH ALAM - After hearing all the evidence in Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor's corruption case, the Kuala Lumpur High Court is set to deliver its decision on whether she is guilty or not, tomorrow.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan is scheduled to deliver his verdict at 9am.

Rosmah, the wife of newly incarcerated former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is facing three counts of corruption linked to the solar hybrid energy project worth RM1.25 billion for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

Tomorrow's decision will determine whether she will walk out of the courtroom a free woman, or handed down a jail sentence and fine.

The trial at the prosecution and defence stages concluded after a total of 23 prosecution and two defence witnesses, including the accused herself had testified.

The road to the date of the decision was not all plain sailing since the trial started in February 2020.

Even then, as the trial was about to kick-off, there was a two-day delay and much drama when Rosmah turned up to court with an ambulance in tow.

This was because she had been diagnosed with cervical spondylosis, osteoarthritis for both knees, as well as chronic adrenal insufficiency, which her lawyer Datuk Jagjit Singh described as a “life-threatening” ailment.

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The trial which was supposed to start on Feb 3, that year started on Feb 5 instead after Zaini allowed an adjournment.

Rosmah was on Feb 18, last year, ordered to enter her defence on all three charges after the court ruled that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing a prima facie case against her.

Only two witnesses testified in the defence stage who were Rosmah and former director of the First Lady of Malaysia (Flom) division Datuk Seri Siti Azizah Sheikh Abod.

During the defence trial, a few heated exchanges broke out between the accused and senior deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram. She had even filed an application to challenge Sri Ram’s appointment as the senior DPP on grounds that the latter’s appointment letters or “fiat” were invalid.

In her bid, she had sought to recuse Sri Ram and declare her trial a nullity.

On Sept 24, last year, Zaini rejected the application ruling that Sri Ram’s appointment under the Criminal Procedure Code by then attorney-general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas in August 2018 was valid.

The decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeal on Dec 6, last year and Federal Court, this year.

On June 24, she turned to the civil court by filing a judicial review application and sought a declaration that Sri Ram’s appointment through the “fiat” letters was unlawful.

However, civil High Court judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid yesterday (Tuesday) dismissed her application.

During the trial, there were also attempts to impeach witnesses, but these bids were eventually dismissed.

The defence had then filed an application to impeach Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd former managing director Saidi Abang Samsuddin who was a key witness and implicated in Rosmah’s charges.

They claimed that there were contradictions in his testimony over how he had spent the RM1.5 million which was withdrawn from his account in 2017.

In his testimony, Saidi said he had withdrawn the money to be given to Rosmah, but the defence argued that the money was used for other purposes.

The prosecution had also made an application to impeach Rosmah over contradictions between her testimony and her statement recorded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) during the investigations of her case.

Rosmah is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Saidi.

She allegedly received the bribes through her former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor, as a reward for helping Jepak Holdings to secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project as well as the maintenance and operation of diesel generator sets for 369 rural schools in Sarawak worth RM1.25 billion from the Education Ministry through direct negotiation.

The offences were allegedly committed between January 2016 and September 2017.

On Jan 8, 2020, Rizal Mansor who was initially a co-accused, had his criminal charges withdrawn by the prosecution. He then became a prosecution witness.

Besides the solar hybrid energy project case, Rosmah is also facing 17 money laundering and tax evasion charges involving RM7.1 million.

The trial on the money laundering and tax evasion case has yet to commence.