Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day Five

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Mahdzir denies Saidi and Rayyan are his cronies.

9.53am: Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s wife, Rosmah Mansor enters the Kuala Lumpur High Court and takes a seat at the front row of the public gallery.

Also seen in court are lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram and other DPPs, as well as defence counsel Azrul Zulkifli Stork, Akberdin Abdul Kader, and other members of the defence team.

10.07am: Accused Rosmah enters the dock as proceedings before High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan resumes.

Hariz Mohd/Malaysiakini

10.20am: Former education minister Mahdzir Khalid disagrees with the defence’s assertion that Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin and partner Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah were his cronies.

He makes this denial against the assertion by Rosmah’s defence counsel Jagjit Singh during cross-examination.

Jagjit is referring to Mahdzir’s testimony with regards to then-premier Najib asking Mahdzir who was Rayyan.

Mahdzir then replies he told Najib that Rayyan was a partner to Saidi.

Jagjit: Why this is not in your (written witness) evidence? You just said Rayyan is a representative of Jepak, other than that, did you tell them that Rayyan was your crony?

Mahdzir: When were they (Saidi and Rayyan) my cronies? Disagree.

Jagjit: You collected money from them, hence cronies.

Mahdzir: Disagree.

10.30am: The court hears Jagjit questioning Mahdzir over his testimony that he had doubts on Jepak’s capability to carry out the solar hybrid system project for 369 schools in Sarawak.

The counsel asks Mahdzir whether he had taken the matter to be discussed in the cabinet.

To this, Mahdzir said there was no need to bring the matter to the cabinet as it was a project under the Education Ministry’s purview.

Jagjit then presses Mahdzir, suggesting that the latter did not escalate it to the cabinet or even the parliament because Mahdzir was taking bribes.

The politician disagrees with the suggestion.

10.35am: Mahdzir agrees that the Letter of Award for the solar project was given to Jepak before the ministry could set up a technical committee to decide on the terms of the works to be carried out.

Answering a series of questions from Jagjit, Mahdzir says this was because Najib had ordered him to speed up the issuance of the letter.

“I agree that the committee should be set up before the issuance of the letter,” says Mahdzir.

“But we did not have the chance to do it (before issuing the letter of award),” he adds.

10.52am: Mahdzir disagrees with the defence’s contention that the delay to the hybrid solar project in Sarawak was because he had yet to receive the alleged first bribe payment of RM1 million.

Jagjit is referring to Jepak’s complaint to Najib over the delay in relation to the project involving 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

Jagjit: The complaint to the prime minister was that you were not doing your job.

Mahdzir: Disagree.

11.05am: The court hears from Mahdzir that it was normal for cabinet members to wait for Najib after cabinet meetings to seek instructions.

Yusof Mat Isa

Mahdzir says the ministers would queue up to meet Najib.

He testifies this when asked by the defence counsel if it was a common practice to meet Najib after cabinet meetings to ask him to minute his orders.

Jagjit: Can you confirm, is it normal practice to bring letters like this to the cabinet meeting, and then after the meeting, intercept the PM and ask him to put his order in minutes.

Mahdzir: Not only me, (there will be a) queue.

Jagjit: I am asking you, is it normal practice for you?

Mahdzir: It is normal practice, to bring letters to the PM.

11.14am: Justice Zaini allows proceedings to go for a short break.

11.31am: Proceedings resume.

12.12pm: Mahdzir disagrees with the defence’s contention that he wanted to make a black sheep (kambing hitam) out of Najib in the solar project corruption matter.

The prosecution witness makes this denial during cross-examination by defence counsel Akberdin.

Akberdin is referring to Mahdzir’s testimony where the witness at first avoided Saidi in relation to the project then later agreeing to give the solar hybrid project to the company.

Akberdin: At first, avoidance of Saidi, then you said have to follow procedure (to Saidi), then you claimed regulation was not followed (by Jepak in relation to the project), then you find a black sheep and deflect to the prime minister (Najib) to allege that he (Najib) gave the order.

Mahdzir: Disagree.

The witness also disagrees with Jagjit’s contention that he is deflecting responsibility to Rosmah over the whole matter.

12.20pm: Defence team produces evidence in the form of Najib’s minute on a letter from Jepak.

The minute, as read by Mahdzir in court, says that the execution of the solar project by Jepak must be monitored by the Education Ministry.

Answering a question from Jagjit, the witness agrees that Najib’s minute on the letter showed that while he wanted the project to be implemented, it should be done according to procedures.

However, Mahdzir disagrees to a suggestion by Jagjit that the letter of award issued by the Education Ministry in 2016 was not according to procedures as it was issued before a negotiation committee was set up by the ministry.

12.45pm: Justice Zaini chides Jagjit for rehashing the same line of questioning on Mahdzir’s motive for testifying against Rosmah.

Jagjit had previously asked Mahdzir a similar question, where he put to the witness to confirm that he gave the testimony in court so that he would not be charged in court for purported corruption charges.

Mahdzir has denied the allegation.

“I am asking you, why you keep repeating the same question?” says Zaini.

The judge then asks Jagjit how much more time he wants to take to cross-examine Mahdzir, to which the defence counsel says: “Not too long.”

The court then breaks for lunch.

1.10pm: Judge Zaini allows the application for the trial to resume tomorrow by Jagjit.


Earlier reports:

Feb 12, Rosmah’s Refusal to Leave Accused Dock During Lunch Break Prompts Early Adjournment

Feb 11, Rosmah’s Defence Alleges Mahdzir Private Jets to Macau, Spore, Perth to Gamble

Feb 11, Rosmah’s Defence Lawyer Paints Ex-Minister Mahdzir as Corrupt

Feb 10, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day Three

Feb 10, Ex-Minister Tells Rosmah’s Trial: I Wasn’t Bribed, Simply Followed Najib’s Orders

Feb 6, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day Two

Feb 6, Driver Delivered Bags of Cash to Rosmah’s House

Feb 6, Rosmah Allegedly Pressured Ex-Minister to Award Project to Jepak

Feb 5, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day One

Feb 5, Rosmah’s Lawyer Cries Intimidation over MACC’s Probe of Doctor Who Issued MC

Feb 5, RM6M Bribe in RM100 Bills

Feb 5, Rosmah’s Controversial FLOM Division Rebranded After Public Criticism

Feb 5, DPP: Overbearing Rosmah Wielded Considerable Influence