Rosmah fails to recuse Sri Ram, nullify corruption trial

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The court also denied an application from Rosmah’s defence lawyers to stay her corruption trial, pending disposal of her appeal to the Court of Appeal against today’s verdict

FMT

The Kuala Lumpur High Court today denied Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s bid to nullify her bribery trial and to remove Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as the lead prosecutor in her case.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said Sri Ram’s appointment by then Attorney-General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas is valid and was properly done per Section 376 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

“I believe the authorisation given by Tommy Thomas to Sri Ram to conduct the case is without doubt validly done.

“The applications are therefore dismissed,” the judge said in his brief judgement.

Rosmah filed the applications claiming that Sri Ram’s appointment letter to be a senior deputy public prosecutor in her case was not valid.

She also argued that her trial should be nullified due to this and that she be acquitted based on a mistrial.

The judge noted that even though Sri Ram was initially appointed as DPP to handle the 1MDB-linked criminal cases against her husband, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, but Thomas later orally authorised Sri Ram to also prosecute Rosmah’s case.

The judge pointed out that Sri Ram’s appointment to handle Rosmah’s case was further bolstered by two letters affirming this by current AG Tan Sri Idrus Harun, dated July 8 last year and May 21 this year, respectively.

“The pertinent issue is whether Sri Ram’s appointment can be (done) retrospectively (to be DPP in Rosmah’s case).

“I agree with the prosecution that the Public Prosecutor (AG) has the power under Section 50 of the Interpretation Act, and is entitled to make Sri Ram’s appointment with retrospective effect,” Zaini said.

Section 50 of the Interpretation Act 1948 and 1967 states that any authority, empowered by written law to appoint a person to exercise any function, can make such an appointment with retrospective effect.

Zaini also denied an application from defence lawyers Akberdeen Abdul Kader and Jagjit Singh to stay Rosmah’s corruption trial, pending disposal of her appeal to the Court of Appeal against today’s verdict.

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.