Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Rosmah’s defence team scraps Najib as witness in graft case

Her lawyer says the evidence from Najib is only corroborative in nature, and that this has already been established by the defence.

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The defence in the trial of Rosmah Mansor regarding a solar project in Sarawak has decided not to call her husband, former prime minister Najib Razak, to testify as the third defence witness.

Rosmah’s counsel Jagjit Singh told the High Court that the defence would not be calling Najib, who was supposedly scheduled to give evidence today.

“After a brainstorming session on Saturday to the late hours on Sunday evening, the defence has elected not to call Najib as the third defence witness.

“We are also analysing the cross-examination (of Rosmah) by the prosecution and we believe the evidence from the third witness (Najib) is only corroborative in nature and the corroborative nature has already been established by the defence.

“For this reason, we have to re-strategise and we made the decision not to call Najib. I apologise to your lordship. I know your lordship is conscious of the court’s time, I accept responsibility for this,” Jagjit said.

Senior deputy public prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram said the decision to call a witness or not lies with the defence.

“It is for the defence to decide, we have nothing to say,” he said.

Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said he appreciated the apology from the defence.
“No harm was done,” he added.

Jagjit then applied for the court to vacate the hearing today as well as for this week as the second defence witness, who is also Najib’s former special officer, Siti Azizah Sheikh Abod, is currently performing the umrah pilgrimage in Mecca and will only be available on Feb 4.

Zaini then adjourned the proceedings to Feb 4.

On Feb 18 last year, 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 faces a charge of soliciting RM187.5 million in bribes and two more of receiving RM6.5 million from the 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 project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak worth RM1.25 billion through direct negotiations from the education ministry.

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