Thursday, April 22, 2021

Prosecution agrees to give copy of Sri Ram’s appointment letter to Rosmah’s defence team

The defence claims that no such letter of appointment was made, saying they are considering whether to apply for a mistrial.

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The defence team in Rosmah Mansor’s corruption case will be provided with a copy of Gopal Sri Ram’s appointment letter as senior deputy public prosecutor after the prosecution conceded to furnish the document today.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib conceded for Rosmah’s appeal to be allowed and also for the prosecution to give the appointment letter dated July 8, 2020 to the defence with the exception of omitting certain portions irrelevant to Rosmah’s case.

The three-member Court of Appeal bench led by justice Suraya Othman allowed Rosmah’s appeal for Sri Ram’s appointment letter as senior deputy public prosecutor in her trial relating to a RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

She acceded to Akram’s request for a copy of the document to be given to the defence by Monday.

The other judges presiding on the bench were justices Abu Bakar Jais and Ghazali Cha.

Rosmah brought the matter up for appeal after the High Court dismissed her application for Sri Ram’s appointment letter on Aug 19 last year.

Rosmah, 69, the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak, faces one count of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving RM6.5 million in bribes from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd’s managing director, Saidi Abang Samsudin, in connection with the solar energy project.

The bribes were allegedly received through her former assistant Rizal Mansor as a reward for helping Jepak Holdings secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project as well as the maintenance and operation of diesel gen-sets for 369 Sarawak rural schools worth RM1.25 billion from the education ministry through direct negotiation.

The offences were allegedly committed at Lygon Cafe, Sunway Putra Mall, Jalan Putra; Rosmah’s residence at Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta; and at Seri Perdana, Persiaran Seri Perdana, Precinct 10, Putrajaya between January 2016 and September 2017.

Earlier, Suraya had asked Akram whether there was a letter of appointment for Sri Ram, to which he said yes.

After perusing the letter of appointment, Suraya said from the court’s observation, the document did not satisfy two of the three requirements that Rosmah’s lawyers had requested.

She said the appointment letter was not dated on or before Nov 15, 2018, the day when Rosmah was charged in court, and was not signed by then attorney-general Tommy Thomas.

Instead, she said the letter was dated July 8 last year and signed by the current attorney-general, Idrus Harun.

Rosmah’s defence team, led by lawyer Jagjit Singh, earlier asked the court to see when the appointment letter was dated, who signed it and whether the letter contained the particulars pertaining to the charge against Rosmah.

Outside the court, Jagjit told reporters that when Rosmah was charged, there was no such letter of appointment for Sri Ram to conduct himself as senior deputy public prosecutor.

He said the conduct of Sri Ram throughout the case of the prosecution, in his view, was a nullity because he was never appointed.

“Now the issue that is disturbing us is whether to apply for a retrial,” he said.

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