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Rosmah loses bid to nullify solar graft trial

The Court of Appeal also dismisses her challenge to the appointment of Gopal Sri Ram as lead prosecutor in the case.

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 Court of Appeal today dismissed the appeal by Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak, to nullify the corruption trial linked to a RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project and to challenge the appointment of the late Gopal Sri Ram as lead prosecutor in the case. 

A three-man bench led by Court of Appeal judge Hanipah Farikullah ruled that there was no merit to Rosmah's appeal. 

The other judges on the bench were Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali and See Mee Chun.

See, who delivered the court's decision, also ordered Rosmah to pay costs of RM10,000. 

Rosmah previously failed to obtain leave for a judicial review to challenge Sri Ram's appointment as lead prosecutor in her case, when the Kuala Lumpur High Court turned down her bid on Aug 30, 2022. 

Rosmah, 71, filed the application for leave to initiate a judicial review in the High Court on June 24, 2022, naming the attorney-general or public prosecutor, the government, and Sri Ram as respondents.

See said the panel agreed that Rosmah's application for leave to initiate the judicial review at the High Court was out of time, as it should have been filed within three months of the first sighting of the fiat or authorisation letter.

She said the application should have been filed within that time frame where the appellant would have been aware that the fiat was, in her own words, invalid, thus rendering the appointment of Sri Ram illegal, irregular and defective, and the proceedings of the solar hybrid case a nullity, void and a mistrial. 

She also said there were no good grounds for the court to exercise its discretion to grant an extension of time to file the judicial review.

Rosmah had sought a declaration that Sri Ram's appointment as senior deputy public prosecutor through three letters of appointment (fiat) dated July 8, 2020, May 11 and May 21, 2021, respectively was unlawful.

She also sought a declaration that the entire prosecution proceedings and full trial for her solar case which took place from Nov 15, 2018 until the defence closed the case were invalid and void, and that she must be acquitted of all charges under Section 16 (a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009.

Rosmah's previous attempt to disqualify Sri Ram was dismissed by justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, who presided over her solar hybrid corruption trial. Her appeals to the Court of Appeal and Federal Court were also dismissed.

On Sept 1, 2022, Zaini found Rosmah guilty of the corruption charges, sentenced her to 10 years in jail, and fined her RM970 million. She then filed an appeal against her conviction and sentence and the Court of Appeal set four days, from July 11 to 14 to hear her appeal.

According to Bernama, Rosmah's counsel Akberdin Abdul Kader told reporters that they would file an appeal against today's decision to the Federal Court.

Rosmah is also represented by counsel Jagjit Singh while senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan and Liew Horng Bin acted for the respondents.