Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day One

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Like Najib’s SRC trial today, also a short day in court for Rosmah.

9.50am: Rosmah Mansor makes an appearance in court for her first day hearing of the solar project graft case despite her medical condition.

Yusof Mat Isa

10am: Hearing kicks off with defence counsel Jagjit Singh complaining that the doctor who treated and issued the medical report for Rosmah felt threatened when questioned by MACC personnel.

“That was intimidation!” Jagjit, who appears to lose his cool, raises his voice.

However, lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram says the doctor is free to lodge a police report if he or she felt threatened.

Echoing this, the judge says it is beyond the court’s purview to act as asked by the defence counsel.

10.15 am: Sri Ram reads his opening speech.

Jagjit objects and asks the court to expunge the relevant part which he feels is a character assassination of his client.

Sri Ram defends his opening speech and says he need to stipulate the nature of the case.

Again, the judge refuses to entertain the request of the defence counsel.

With that, the trial begins with first prosecution witness Huzairi Zainal Abidin, an officer at the Prime Minister’s Office.

11.00am: Huzairi, 42, tells the court that Rosmah had no official position in the government but she played a role, particularly in welfare works, during Najib’s nine-year tenure as the prime minister.

With this, the First Lady of Malaysia (FLOM) office was established for such purpose and a specific website was created.

Huzairi says Rizal Mansor was employed as an officer under FLOM.

However, the witness says FLOM was renamed and the website removed after the name of the office courted controversy, since the queen was supposed to be the first lady.

11.30am: The prosecution’s second witness, MACC officer Mohd Redzuan Othman, 27, elaborates on 10 photographs taken on Nov 2, 2018 at Rosmah’s house. One photo depicts the exact location where she allegedly received RM1.5 million for projects to provide solar energy to rural schools in Sarawak.

He identifies one of the photographs as being taken at the third living room in Rosmah’s house.

Further, he says another photograph shows the right-hand corner of the third living room, by a sofa, where a bag containing RM1.5 million was supposedly placed there on Sept 7, 2017.

Redzuan says he received instructions from the case’s investigating officer to take the photographs, as identified by other witnesses in the case.

On the day the photographs were taken, he says he went to Rosmah’s house with the witnesses and asked to identify the locations within and outside the house.

12.15pm: Najib enters the courtroom. Rosmah turns around and smiles.

12.20pm: The court releases the second witness, MACC officer Mohd Redzuan Othman, and stands down for a while.

Najib and Rosmah are seen having a discussion with their lawyers. Later, he is seen giving her a hug before leaving the courtroom.

12.40pm: The trial resumes with the court calling the third witness, Maybank officer Azimah Aziz.

The 38-year-old banker, who worked as head of cashier at the Medan Tuanku branch, says the then Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin withdrew RM5 million and RM1.5 million in cash from his bank account on Dec 20, 2016, and September 7, 2017, respectively.

According to her, the bank prepared the cash in RM100 notes as requested by Saidi himself.

On the second transaction, Azimah says she asked Saidi the purpose of withdrawing the money.

“He said the withdrawal of money was merely for business purpose. Since he has (no intention) of talking about it, I did not ask further,” she adds.

Azimah testifies that the bank has made it the practice to ask for the purpose of withdrawal of huge sums of money to ensure the customers are not involved in scams.

1.30pm: Maybank officer Azimah Aziz testifies under cross-examination that she did not have access to the information on the purpose for the withdrawal of RM6.5 million by then Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin.

Defence counsel Azrul Zulkifli Stork (photo) then questions how the bank could have allowed such a huge sum to be withdrawn without knowing the purpose.

Azimah says she did ask and Saidi responded that the withdrawal was meant for business use.

She says she had reported the two transactions to her superior.

“So, it (the transaction) was not suspicious?” asks Azrul.

“It was not without suspicion,” says Azimah.

1.40pm: Court adjourns after releasing Azimah.

Rosmah leaves the courtroom.

The trial will continue tomorrow morning.


Related reports:

Feb 5, Rosmah’s Lawyer Cries Intimidation over MACC’s Probe of Doctor Who Issued MC

Feb 5, RM6M Bribe in RM100 Bills

Feb 5, Rosmah’s Controversial FLOM Division Rebranded After Public Criticism

Feb 5, DPP: Overbearing Rosmah Wielded Considerable Influence