Court of Appeal says no to Rosmah’s bid to nullify her solar corruption trial

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Rosmah’s lawyer Datuk Jagjit Singh earlier apologised to the court on her behalf for her absence during last Thursday’s proceeding.

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor today failed in her appeal against the High Court’s decision maintaining Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as the lead prosecutor in her corruption case and dismissing her bid to nullify the ongoing trial.

A three-man Court of Appeal bench led by judge Datuk Hanipah Farikullah unanimously rejected Rosmah’s appeal after allowing the respondent’s preliminary objection (PO) that the court has no jurisdiction to grant the declarations sought by her.

Rosmah had sought a declaration that Sri Ram’s appointment was invalid as well as a declaration that her ongoing trial linked to the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project was null and void.

Hanipah said the court was of the view that the relief sought for must fall within the matters allowed by the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

However, she said there was nothing in the code that confers power and jurisdiction by the High Court to exercise its criminal procedures to grant declaratory orders.

“Therefore, we allow the PO raised by the respondent, consequently we will not consider the merits of the appeals before us.

“Accordingly, we dismiss the appellant’s appeals,” Hanipah said.

Other judges on the panel were Datuk M Gunalan and Datuk Hashim Hamzah.

Rosmah Mansor, via her legal team, earlier apologised to the Court of Appeal over her non-attendance last week for an appeal hearing.

Her defence counsel Jagjit Singh relayed the apology to the three-person Court of Appeal bench.

On Dec 2, Rosmah was absent from the appeal hearing over her bid to nullify her corruption case involving the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid energy project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

Bernama

This was as she was still in Singapore to give support to her daughter Nooryana Najwa Najib who gave birth.

The prosecution at the time wanted the court to issue an arrest warrant against Rosmah for not attending the appeal.

However, the court declined the request following her defence team explaining that an “oversight” led to her absence. The bench also directed Rosmah to be present for the following proceedings.

Jagjit delivered the apology on behalf of Rosmah, who was seen in the dock.

“(We) express profound apology to My Lady and My Lords for the absence of the appellant last week.

“She expresses her sincerest apology,” he said as Rosmah looked on.

Dressed in a white and pink floral patterned baju kurung and wearing a pink mask, Rosmah appeared calm when the decision was read out.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan had dismissed her bid on Sept 24, ruling that Sri Ram’s appointment by then Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas was validly done under Section 376(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

He had on the same day dismissed Rosmah’s application for a stay of the trial pending the disposal of the appeal over the decision.

Rosmah is accused of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes of RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd’s former managing director Saidi Abang Samsuddin, through her former special officer Datuk Rizal Mansor.

She was accused of committing the offences between Jan 2016 and Sept 2017.

She purportedly received the money in exchange for helping the company obtain a RM1.25 billion project to provide solar energy to 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

Rosmah’s trial in the High Court is scheduled to resume on Wednesday.