The High Court today rejected Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s application to disqualify former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram from heading the prosecution in her corruption trial over a RM1.25 billion solar project in Sarawak.
High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said there was no merit to the defence’s assertion that Sri Ram needed a formal letter of appointment from the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) before he could lead the prosecution by fiat.
“Sri Ram’s appointment was public knowledge and the AG himself had appeared in court and confirmed Sri Ram’s appointment,” Zaini said, referring to Tan Sri Tommy Thomas who has since resigned as the AG.
“The appointment does not need to be in writing. The court also held that the LOA was not confidential which was the basis of the argument for the LOA.”
The judge said the AG’s declaration sufficed to verify Sri Ram’s position and a written letter was not needed unless there was evidence to suggest Thomas had not made the appointment.
“Sri Ram has appeared and led the prosecution of this case right from the start. The trial had entered its 19th day when the defence made this application.
“There is no reason for the defence to be given the letter of appointment and I, therefore, dismiss this application,” he said, adding his decision was also based on previous decided cases in the Court of Appeal and Federal Court.
Sri Ram’s role as senior deputy public prosecutor in Rosmah’s case came after he was previously appointed to only handle cases related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The defence tried to have him removed on the grounds that his appointment did not extend to her case.
Rosmah’s lawyers previously sought to portray his appointment as political in nature and meant to fulfil an election promise of the previous Pakatan Harapan government.