Rizal Mansor was never special officer to Rosmah

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Rizal Mansor made a wrongful misrepresentation to other civil servants and government agencies in claiming that he was the special officer to Rosmah Mansor, the High Court was told.

A former special officer to Najib Razak, Siti Azizah Sheikh Abod, said this fraudulent conduct by Rizal gave the wrong impression to third parties and further complicated matters.

“He acted on his own volition and this painted a negative image on the First Lady of Malaysia (FLOM) division in the Prime Minister’s Department,” she said in her witness statement in Rosmah’s corruption trial in connection with the Sarawak schools’ solar energy project.

Siti, the second defence witness, who took the stand on Friday, only read 13 of the 60-page witness statement before the proceedings were adjourned.

Trial judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said he was using his discretion under Section 402B (6) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) that Siti was deemed to have read the entire statement after signing against the document.

Siti, 72, who will be leaving tomorrow to perform the umrah, will return to take the stand on Feb 4 to be cross-examined by the prosecution and re-examined by Rosmah’s lawyers.

Siti, who retired from the civil service in 2006, began her stint as a contract staff to serve as special officer to Najib when he was the deputy prime minister.

She also told the court last week that she was the sole special officer to Najib, and no other specific appointment was made to cater to Rosmah.

Siti’s response in the statement came after Rizal, a key prosecution witness, told the court earlier that he was the special officer to Rosmah when Najib was the prime minister from April 2009 to May 2018.

Rizal had testified that his position as special officer was known in the Prime Minister’s Department and civil servants in other ministries.

Siti, who later became the director of the rebranded FLOM division in the Prime MInister’s Department, said Rizal was only designated as an assistant officer with special functions.

“He was never a special officer to Rosmah and his interpretation of the post was to raise his image and importance when dealing with others,” she said.

Rizal had said that he was appointed special officer to handle Rosmah’s affairs which included the social and traditional media.

Siti said Rizal misrepresented himself to former Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin and his business partner, Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah.

“I have also never given any orders for Rizal to meet Saidi and Rayyan. What Rizal did was without my knowledge, and I cannot be held responsible,” she said.

She said she only knew from media reports that four corruption charges against Rizal were dropped a month before Rosmah’s trial began in February last year.

Rosmah is accused of soliciting RM187.5 million from Saidi, through Rizal, as an inducement to help the company secure the solar project for rural schools in Sarawak.

She is also accused of receiving bribes amounting to RM5 million from Saidi, through Rizal, at Seri Perdana in Putrajaya on Dec 20, 2016. Rosmah is said to have received another RM1.5 million from Saidi at Jalan Langgak Duta here on Sept 7, 2017.

The hearing will resume on Jan 10 with Najib taking the stand as the last defence witness for his wife. – FMT