Najib not testifying at Rosmah’s graft trial

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The defence in the trial of Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor involving a solar hybrid project in Sarawak has moved to drop Datuk Seri Najib Razak from its witness list.

Miera Zulyana

Rosmah’s lawyer Datuk Jagjit Singh informed the High Court here that the defence would not be calling the former prime minister, who was initially scheduled to take the stand Monday (Jan 10).

“After analysing the cross-examination (of Rosmah) by the prosecution, we believe the evidence from the third witness (Najib) is only corroborative in nature and (this) corroborative nature has already been established by the defence.

“So, for this reason, we have to re-strategise and we made the decision not to call (Najib),” Jagjit said.

The lawyer told the court that the decision was made in an extensive discussion that began on Saturday (Jan 8) and lasted until late Sunday evening.

“I again apologise to the court. I know your lordship is conscious of the court’s time, I accept responsibility for this,” he added.

Lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram said the decision to call or not call a witness lies with the defence.

“It is for the defence to decide, we have nothing to say,” he said.

Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said he appreciated the apology from the defence and said: “no harm was done”.

He adjourned the proceedings to Feb 4.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah held a watching brief for Najib in the proceedings.

Rosmah was the first witness in her defence case while the second and previous witness to take the stand was Datuk Seri Siti Azizah Sheikh Abod, 72, who was Najib’s special officer in charge of Rosmah’s daily programmes as the wife of the then prime minister.

Rosmah is on trial for a charge of soliciting RM187.5mil and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5mil involving a RM1.25bil solar hybrid project in Sarawak.

Siti Azizah, who is currently performing the umrah in Mekah, is expected to be cross-examined by the prosecution on Feb 4. – The Star