Friday, January 21, 2022

Rosmah’s graft trial postponed again over MySejahtera status

When presented with the suggestion of a hybrid proceeding, the judge says he would like to be more cautious at this stage of the trial.

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Rosmah Mansor’s corruption trial in connection with the solar energy project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak was postponed again today as her MySejahtera status still shows that she has had close contact with a Covid-19 case.

High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan vacated today’s hearing after Rosmah’s counsel Jagjit Singh informed the court that his client’s MySejahtera status was still orange.

“For your Lordship’s information, my client is present today at the court’s compound. She is in the car now. Her MySejahtera status was verified by the court’s registrar,” the lawyer said.

In response to this, senior deputy public prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram suggested that Zaini conduct a hybrid trial proceeding, where Rosmah could continue to give evidence from her home or lawyer’s office.

“I believe we can continue this proceeding via Zoom and we (the prosecution) will have supervising DPPs present and they (the defence) can have the solicitors present,” said Sri Ram.

However, Zaini said he would like to be more cautious at this stage of the trial.

“I have thought about that and I have gone through the relevant statutes. There does not seem to be any provision and I’d like to be more cautious.

“We do not want to derail the whole trial just because we think it (hybrid trial) is okay at this stage,” said the judge.

The court then fixed three additional dates, this Dec 13, 23, 24, and six more days, Jan 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 as well as Feb 4 next year, for the trial.

On Dec 8, Zaini vacated Rosmah’s trial, saying that the court’s SOPs only allow people with a blue MySejahtera status to enter the building and will not allow those with close or casual contact with Covid-19 cases into the premises.

Rosmah, who is celebrating her 70th birthday today, is facing a charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two charges of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin through her former assistant Rizal Mansor as a reward for assisting Jepak Holdings secure the RM1.25 billion project to equip 369 schools in rural Sarawak with solar hybrid power.

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