Solar case: Rosmah files last minute application to recuse judge Zaini

31 Aug 2022 02:05pm
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor - Photo: BERNAMA
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor - Photo: BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR - Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor filed a last-minute application to recuse High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan from hearing or making a decision on her corruption case involving the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project.

The application was filed on the grounds of the purported leaked judgment of her case which was prepared by another party that was viralled by the mass and electronic media last Aug 26.

She filed the notice of motion through Messrs. Akberdin & Co yesterday, naming the public prosecutor as respondent.

In the notice of motion, which was obtained by the media, Rosmah, 70, is seeking an order for a stay of the judgment to be made at the end of the solar case, which has been set for tomorrow, or any date after that, until the disposal of the notice of motion in question or the investigation into the matter has been completed.

She is also seeking an order that with the self-recusal of the judge, the solar case should be heard, retried or decided by another High Court judge.

This was confirmed by lawyer Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, who is representing Rosmah, when contacted by Bernama today.

In a supporting affidavit filed with the notice, Rosmah said the solar case had gone through a full trial before Judge Mohamed Zaini after she was charged on Nov 15, 2018 and on Feb 18, 2021, she was ordered to enter her defence after the judge ruled there was a prima facie case against her.

The wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, said the defence closed its case last Feb 18 and the judge set last April 5 for decision.

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"However, no decision was given and Judge Mohamed Zaini then set July 7 as the new date. However, that date was also vacated and the new date, Sept 1 (tomorrow), was set," said Rosmah.

Rosmah claimed that last Aug 26, she read an article by Raja Petra Kamarudin, with the title, "Rosmah Mansor Will Be Pronounced Guilty on 1st September 2022" on the Malaysia Today portal.

"I was shocked when I found the content of the article which stated that the decision/judgment for the solar case has been completed, but it was not prepared by the (presiding) judge, but on behalf of the judge," she said.

As such, Rosmah said she lost faith in the judge, who is supposed to give the decision tomorrow.

Rosmah claimed that she also read the author's second article, titled "Download Or View The 71-Page Judgment And Guilty Verdict on Rosmah Mansor Here" with the date on the Malaysia Today portal page and in that article, the author placed a link for the decision/judgment provided by a third party rather, instead of the presiding judge, which can be easily downloaded.

After examining the two articles, Rosmah said she doubted the judge's integrity as the document was prepared by another party, an act which contradicts Paragraphs 5,7,8 and 11 of the Judges' Code of Ethics 2009.

She said the disclosure by the author of the articles was well-founded and authentic as the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia did not deny the existence of the 71-page judgment.

She claimed the viral judgment had invited various perceptions on the integrity of the court in handling, hearing, discussing and deciding the solar case in an ethical, fair and just manner.

"If this issue is not decided earlier, it will prejudice my rights under the law, due to violations of the Judges' Code of Ethics and the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers by Yang Arif Mohamed Zaini," stated Rosmah.

Last Aug 27, the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia lodged a police report over an alleged leak of a court ruling in Rosmah Mansor's corruption trial involving a Sarawak solar project worth RM1.25 billion.

In a statement, it said that the alleged leak was a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the court's operation and administration of justice.

Tomorrow, Judge Mohamed Zaini will give a decision on whether Rosmah will be acquitted or convicted on three charges of corruption.

On Feb 18 last year, Rosmah, 70, was ordered to defend herself against three charges after the prosecution succeeded in proving a prima facie case against her.

She is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin.

The bribes were allegedly received 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 Sarawak rural schools worth RM1.25 billion from the Education Ministry through direct negotiation. - BERNAMA

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