Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Court allows prosecution’s attempt to impeach Rosmah’s credibility

This follows contradictions in her testimony in the ongoing solar project trial and the statement she gave to the MACC in her money laundering case.

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The High Court in Kuala Lumpur today allowed the prosecution’s attempt to impeach Rosmah Mansor’s credibility following contradictions in her testimony in the ongoing solar project trial and the statement she gave to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in her money laundering case.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan allowed the admission of Rosmah’s recorded statement, under Section 32 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFAPUAA), to be used to question the inconsistency in her evidence in the ongoing corruption trial.

“I am of the view that the statement is admissible pursuant to Section 40 of AMLATFAPUAA and that the prosecution can proceed with its attempt to impeach the accused.

“I am however of the belief that the provision for impeachment is to be carried out under Sections 145 and 155 of the Evidence Act 1950, and not Section 72 of Amla, as the latter pertains to a trial of an offence under the act, which is not the case here,” said the judge.

Zaini also allowed the prosecution’s application to cross-examine Rosmah’s character on the charges she currently faces under Amla relating to bank statements allegedly made by Roslan Sohari into her account.

“I am satisfied that the prosecution has satisfied the requirement under Section 54(2)(b) of the Evidence Act 1950. However, I will not allow any questions to be asked pertaining to the facts of the Amla charges that the accused is facing, save for the fact that she has been charged under the act.

“I take the view that the probative value of the prosecution’s intent to bring up (the money laundering case) does not outweigh the prejudicial effect that the accused may suffer,” said Zaini.

Rosmah is facing 12 money laundering charges amounting to about RM7 million and five counts of failing to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board.

The case, also before Zaini, is scheduled to begin after the corruption trial ends.

Earlier, lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram applied to the court to be allowed to impeach Rosmah and cross-examine her over her character.

“It is respectfully submitted that the accused’s statement under Section 32 of Amla may be used in the present proceedings to contradict and to impeach the accused’s credit in the present case,” he said.

However, Rosmah’s counsels, Akberdin Abdul Kader and Jagjit Singh, objected to the prosecution’s application to impeach Rosmah.

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

Rosmah is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million in bribes and two charges of receiving RM6.5 million grafts from managing director of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, Saidi Abang Samsudin, through her former aide Rizal Mansor 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 before Zaini will resume on Dec 8.

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