Monday, October 18, 2021

Rosmah denies committing criminal offence, says charges against her are ‘slander’

She says she never asked for any money and that Rizal Mansor was not her special officer.

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Rosmah Mansor told the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today that she did not commit any criminal offence in the solar hybrid project but should be the prosecution witness against her former assistant, Rizal Mansor.

Rosmah, 69, said Rizal, as the 21st prosecution witness (21PW) in his sworn statement in court, openly admitted to asking for RM25 million – RM5 million a year for five years – from Saidi Abang Samsuddin, the then managing director of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd. She said 21PW also admitted to receiving RM500,000 in bribes from Saidi.

“Rizal also admitted to receiving graft amounting to RM30,000 from Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah (16PW) to be paid to Ahmed Farriq Zainul Abidin (PW9) and admitted to receiving bribes of at least RM50,000 each time for six to seven times from Saidi as well as bribes from Saidi through Rayyan for the umrah trip with his family.

“Meanwhile I did not ask for or receive any corruption money from Saidi or Rayyan, directly or through Rayyan, and I have never made or admitted to committing the acts.

“I wish to record that I did not plead guilty to the three charges, Your Honour, I swear that I am speaking the truth here as I did not commit any crime and the charges against me are slander,” she said.

Rosmah, the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak, said this when reading her witness statement on the first day of the defence proceeding against three corruption charges involving the solar hybrid project costing RM1.25 billion for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

Rosmah said she also denied asking for RM187.5 million from Saidi when questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and had never heard about the money from Rizal, Saidi or Rayyan.

“Rizal’s action to link me here is aimed at tarnishing my good name and credibility as the wife of the former prime minister through an inter alia deal made by the prosecution by reciprocating to withdraw charges against him, and he was made the crown witness for the prosecution,” said Rosmah.

On June 8, 2020, Rizal was acquitted by the High Court of four charges of soliciting and receiving bribes for himself and Rosmah amounting to RM6.5 million for the supply and installation of solar energy for rural schools in Sarawak.

Meanwhile, Rosmah who remained calm while giving her statement from the witness stand said Rizal was an assistant officer with special functions on contract in the Prime Minister’s Department and not as special officer to her.

“He (Rizal) carried out the duties of a media officer in the First Lady of Malaysia (FLOM) division under the Prime Minister’s Department during his service in the department. I wish to stress here that I did not have a special officer at all,” she said.

Rosmah also said Rizal was not an efficient or responsible worker as he was unable to write her speeches properly.

“Rizal had discipline problems in his job and he was frequently missing during office hours. I was not happy with the quality of his work and he had to be monitored and checked to ensure that he completed his duties.

“I often heard complaints by Siti Azizah Sheikh Abod (FLOM special officer) and other officers about Rizal’s lazy attitude. I am not close with Rizal.

“Communications between me and Rizal were only on work matters and for most of it, I dealt directly with Siti Azizah,” she said.

Rosmah also said her husband Najib had reminded her not to meet with any contractors and not to interfere in his dealings as the prime minister at the time.

She said she did not want to entertain Rizal’s request to meet Saidi and Rayyan as she had never assisted any contractors in obtaining government contracts and did not interfere in such matters.

She also stressed that she had never called Rizal to discuss or obtain political donations from Saidi and Rayyan or any individuals when she knew Rizal.

On Feb 18, the High Court order Rosmah to enter her defence on the three charges after finding the prosecution had succeeded in proving a prima facie case against her.

Rosmah faces one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million in bribes and two charges of receiving RM6.5 million from Saidi through Rizal as gratification to assist Jepak Holdings in securing the integrated hybrid solar photovoltaic system project as well as the genset/diesel maintenance and operation for 369 rural schools in Sarawak worth RM1.25 billion through direct negotiations from the education ministry.

The trial continues before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.

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