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Apex court dismisses Rosmah’s bid to throw out graft case

A three-man bench denies her appeal in a unanimous decision.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak. Photo: Bernama
Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak. Photo: Bernama

The Federal Court today dismissed Rosmah Mansor’s bid to quash her corruption case over a hybrid solar project for rural schools in Sarawak, leaving the July 7 date for a verdict unchanged.

A three-man bench chaired by Mohd Zawawi Salleh denied her appeal in a unanimous decision, news portal Malaysiakini reported.

The bench, which included judges Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, said the criminal court had no jurisdiction to grant the declaratory relief sought by Rosmah.

“We are in agreement with the reason profferred by the Court of Appeal. We are of the opinion that there is no inherent jurisdiction of the criminal court to grant declaratory relief,” Zawawi was reported as saying by Bernama.

He also said there were written laws such as the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 and that the Rules of Court 2012 only conferred inherent power to the civil court.

He added that the Criminal Procedure Code was a complete and comprehensive law relating to procedures in criminal proceedings.

“Therefore, the question that the criminal court has power to grant the relief does not arise at all. The appeal is dismissed,” he said.

Rosmah, 70, was ordered to enter her defence for three charges on Feb 18 last year, after the prosecution succeeded in proving a prima facie case against her.

She faced one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin.

The bribes were allegedly received through her former aide Rizal Mansor, as a reward for helping Jepak Holdings secure the hybrid photovoltaic solar system integrated project as well as the maintenance and operation of diesel generator sets for 369 Sarawak rural schools worth RM1.25 billion from the education ministry through direct negotiation.

The panel made its ruling today after hearing submissions by lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram and counsel Jagjit Singh and Akberdin Abdul Kader, who appeared for Rosmah.

Earlier, the apex court also dismissed Rosmah’s preliminary objection on whether it was proper for Sri Ram to represent the prosecution in today’s proceedings.

“The court does not find any evidence of conflict of interest if Sri Ram represents the prosecution. Therefore, there is no reason why he can’t submit or proceed in the case in his capacity as senior deputy public prosecutor. The preliminary objection is dismissed,” said Zawawi.