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Rosmah’s lawyer questions validity of AG’s letter on Sri Ram’s appointment as DPP

He says Idrus Harun cannot issue a backdated letter as he was not the attorney-general at the time.

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Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak. Photo: Bernama
Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak. Photo: Bernama

The High Court in Kuala Lumpur was today told that Rosmah Mansor’s trial over a solar hybrid project is a nullity as Attorney-General (AG) Idrus Harun had issued a backdated letter on the appointment of Gopal Sri Ram as lead prosecutor in the case.

Rosmah’s counsel Jagjit Singh said according to the letter produced by the prosecution to the court today, the letter was signed by the current AG on May 21, 2021 to appoint Sri Ram as senior deputy public prosecutor effective Aug 30, 2018.

“In the letter, Idrus said Sri Ram could exercise all or any right and power vested in him (Idrus) under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) or any written law as provided under Section 376 (3) of the CPC and specifically to conduct the prosecution in Rosmah’s solar case including any other criminal applications and appeals related thereto,” he said.

Jagjit said Idrus was a Court of Appeal judge on Aug 30, 2018, and he was appointed the AG on March 6, 2020.

“Idrus cannot issue a backdated letter when he was not the AG at that time (Aug 30, 2018). Based on the letter issued on May 21, the trial is a nullity,” he said in his submissions at the hearing of Rosmah’s bid to nullify her RM1.25 billion corruption trial over the solar hybrid project and to disqualify Sri Ram as lead prosecutor in the case.

Jagjit also argued that a new letter issued by the AG was an afterthought and that therefore Sri Ram’s appointment was illegal, irregular and defective.

Rosmah, 69, filed the applications after the Court of Appeal on April 8 allowed her appeal to obtain a copy of Sri Ram’s appointment letter following the prosecution’s agreement to provide it to the defence team.

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

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

Instead, the letter was dated July 8 last year and signed by Idrus.

The hearing before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues on Thursday.