Rosmah files 11th hour application to recuse judge, postpone solar case verdict

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Lost faith in the judge who is supposed to give the decision tomorrow.

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor filed a last-minute application to recuse High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan from hearing or making a decision on her corruption case involving the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project.

The application was filed on the grounds of the alleged leaked judgment of her case, which was prepared by another party.

She filed the notice of motion through Messrs Akberdin & Co yesterday, naming the public prosecutor as respondent.

In the notice of motion, which was obtained by the media, Rosmah, 70, is seeking an order for a stay of judgment on the case, which has been set for tomorrow, or any date after that, until the disposal of the notice of motion in question or until the investigation into the matter has been completed.

She is seeking an order that with the self-recusal of the judge, the case should be heard, retried or decided by another High Court judge.

This was confirmed by lawyer Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, who is representing Rosmah, when contacted by Bernama today.

In a supporting affidavit filed with the notice, Rosmah said the case had gone through a full trial before judge Zaini after she was charged on Nov 15, 2018, then on Feb 18 last year she was ordered to enter her defence after the judge ruled there was a prima facie case against her.

Rosmah, the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, said the defence closed its case on Feb 23 and the judge set April 5 for a decision.

“However, no decision was given and judge Mohamed Zaini then set July 7 as the new date. However, that date was also vacated and the new date, Sept 1 (tomorrow), was set,” said Rosmah.

Rosmah said on Aug 26, she read an article by Raja Petra Kamarudin with the title “Rosmah Mansor Will Be Pronounced Guilty on 1st September 2022” on the Malaysia Today portal.

“I was shocked when I found the content of the article which stated that the decision/judgment for the solar case has been completed, but it was not prepared by the (presiding) judge, but on behalf of the judge,” she said.

Kamarul Ariffin/The Star

Rosmah said she had lost faith in the judge, who is supposed to give the decision tomorrow.

She claimed that she read another article by the writer, titled “Download Or View The 71-Page Judgment And Guilty Verdict on Rosmah Mansor Here” on the Malaysia Today portal, and in that article, the writer placed a link to download the decision/judgment that was prepared by a third party, instead of the presiding judge.

After examining the two articles, Rosmah said she doubted the judge’s integrity as the document was prepared by another party, an act which contradicts Paragraphs 5, 7, 8 and 11 of the Judges’ Code of Ethics 2009.

She said the disclosure by the author of the articles was well-founded and authentic as the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court did not deny the existence of the 71-page judgment.

She claimed the judgment, which had gone viral, had sparked doubt over the integrity of the court in handling, hearing, discussing and deciding on the case in an ethical, fair and just manner.

“If this issue is not decided earlier, it will prejudice my rights under the law, due to violations of the Judges’ Code of Ethics and the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers by Yang Arif Mohamed Zaini,” Rosmah said.

On Aug 27, the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court lodged a police report over an alleged leak of a court ruling in Rosmah’s corruption trial involving a solar project in Sarawak worth RM1.25 billion.

The office said the alleged leak was a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the court’s operation and administration of justice.

Tomorrow, judge Zaini will give a decision on whether Rosmah will be acquitted or convicted on three charges of corruption.

Rosmah is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin.

The bribes were allegedly received through her former aide, Datuk Rizal Mansor, as a reward for helping Jepak Holdings secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project and the maintenance and operation of diesel generator sets for 369 rural schools in Sarawak worth RM1.25 billion from the Education Ministry through direct negotiation.