Judge blasts Rosmah’s lawyers for foot-dragging

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High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan today warned lawyers representing Rosmah Mansor in her solar energy project corruption trial to prioritise the case.

Zaini instructed the defence to adjourn all other matters after another defence witness failed to show up to give evidence.

This morning, Rosmah’s defence team informed the court that special officer to former prime minister Najib Razak, Siti Azizah Sheikh Abod, who was supposed to be cross-examined by the prosecution today, was a no-show, ostensibly in-home quarantine following her umrah pilgrimage.

“That changes everything. It was supposed to be the last day of the trial. I accept your explanation. I know you are all busy counsels…you have busy matters, but I urge you to write to the courts and adjourn your matters.

“This case is to be given priority. It is a criminal matter and it involves the last witness,” Zaini said.

Defence lawyer Azrul Zulkifli Stork informed the court that Siti Azizah could not appear to testify today as she was still undergoing home supervision and observation order after returning from the umrah pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

According to Azrul, Siti Azizah was supposed to return home on January 27, but her flight from Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur was postponed to January 29, so her quarantine would not end until tomorrow.

Meanwhile, senior deputy public prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram told the court that the prosecution would not take long to cross-examine her.

“If it is any consolation, I will only take an hour and a half (for cross-examination),” he added.

Zaini adjourned the trial to February 15.

On February 18, 2021, the High Court ordered Rosmah to defend herself on all three corruption charges brought against her for a solar hybrid project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in proving there was a case to answer.

Bernama

Rosmah, 70, faces one charge of soliciting RM188 million and two charges of accepting bribes amounting to RM6.5 million from former Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin.

The bribe was allegedly received through her former special officer Rizal Mansor, as a reward to help Jepak Holdings to obtain the RM1.25 billion integrated solar photovoltaic (PV) hybrid system project as well as genset/diesel maintenance and operation for 369 schools through direct negotiations from the Ministry of Education.