Friday, January 21, 2022

Rosmah’s trial postponed for third time over MySejahtera status

Judge says he will take into consideration the prosecution's suggestion for a hybrid proceeding.

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Rosmah Mansor’s corruption trial in connection with the solar energy project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak was postponed for the third time 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 senior deputy public prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram informed the court that Rosmah’s MySejahtera status was still orange.

“I’m advised by my learned friend that their client is still unable to attend court because her (orange) status has not changed. I’m in a very difficult situation because I’ve already suggested to the court the possibility of having a hybrid hearing.

“I also suggested that we facilitate Rosmah to give evidence from her home, with the presence of two deputy prosecutors, the defence counsel and the court officials,” Sri Ram said.

Counsel Jagjit Singh representing Rosmah affirmed that as of today, her MySejahtera status had not reverted to blue. He also apologised for the matter.

“The next trial is scheduled on Dec 23 and I assure my client will be able to attend. I would prefer the proceedings to be carried out as usual with all parties physically present in court,” Jagjit said.

However, Zaini said he would take into consideration Sri Ram’s suggestion for a hybrid proceeding to ensure the continuity of the trial without further disruption.

“I have to make provisions because we cannot carry on like this, the trial has to come to an end eventually. The light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getting dimmer and dimmer,” the judge said.

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

On Dec 8 and 10, Zaini vacated Rosmah’s trial, saying the court’s SOPs only allow people with a blue MySejahtera status to enter the building and would not allow those with close or casual contact with Covid-19 cases into the premises.

Rosmah faces one 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 to secure the RM1.25 billion project to equip 369 schools in rural Sarawak with solar hybrid power.

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