Education ministry had to consider Jepak’s proposal in 2016 only because they had received approval and order from Najib.
9.58am: Rosmah Mansor, wife of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, enters the accused dock as hearing is about to start before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.
10.30am: The start of today’s proceedings sees Rosmah’s defence team confronting former education minister Mahdzir Khalid on his earlier testimony, where he denies having engaged a lawyer called Datuk Vignesh to broker a deal with the MACC.
Mahdzir says that he had engaged the lawyer in regards with MACC investigation on him in 2018, and it was not to broker a deal with the authorities.
Defence lawyer Jagjit Singh then produces a letter from the law firm addressed to the attorney-general.
The letter dated Nov 27, 2018, says that the firm represents Mahdzir and was instructed to write to the AG’s office in regards to the investigation into the solar hybrid case.
It adds later that Mahdzir was willing to testify “against the prime mover of the scheme”.
Jagjit then asks Mahdzir who he meant by “prime mover”, but the witness says that he could not answer that.
Mahdzir, however, disagrees that the prime mover was either Rosmah’s aide Rizal Mansor or Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin.
11am: Defence lawyer Azrul Stork asks Mahdzir about Permata Foundation, where Rosmah was the patron.
The witness agrees that Permata programmes also covered schools in Sabah and Sarawak.
However, he disagrees with Azrul’s suggestion that the solar hybrid project for schools in Sarawak was crucial to provide electricity to schools in Sarawak so that Permata online programmes can reach there.
Mahdzir says that the schools intended to receive the solar hybrid system already have electric supply by the use of diesel generators.
Azrul then asks Mahdzir if he has ever asked Rosmah about her concerns on the solar project, suggesting to the witness that Rosmah wanted to help the project solely for the interests of Permata programmes.
Mahdzir says that he had never asked Rosmah this.
11.05pm: Mahdzir testifies that it was Saidi who told him about the “Team Saidi”, referring to his previous testimony implicating that Saidi, Rosmah, Rizal, Saidi’s partner Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah and Pekan Umno secretary Aazmey Abu Talib were in cahoots in the scheme to secure the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project.
Mahdzir says this when Azrul suggested to him that “Team Saidi” was only his assumption.
The witness, however, agrees with Azrul that he had never checked with the other names mentioned whether what Saidi claimed about them being on the same team was true or otherwise.
The lawyer then suggests to him that since he never checked with Rosmah, Rizal, Rayyan and Aazmey on the “Team Saidi” claim, his understanding of it could be wrong.
Azrul: You did not check. So, if this assumption was wrong, then you are wrong?
Mahdzir: Yes. If it’s wrong, then I am wrong (about Team Saidi).
11.10am: DPP Akram Gharib then informs the court that the prosecution would have several questions for re-examination for today, and that lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram, who is attending to another case at the Federal Court, wishes to conduct the re-examination next week.
Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan then allows this.
After Akram asks Mahdzir to clarify a few things about a letter by his law firm to the attorney-general in 2018, the witness is released temporarily and told by the judge not to discuss his testimony with others.
The court then goes for a short break.
11.33am: The hearing resumes with the prosecution calling their sixth witness, former Education Ministry secretary-general Madinah Mohamad.
12.10pm: Madinah testifies that Jepak had never provided the ministry with breakdowns for how the RM1.25 billion would be utilised in carrying out the solar hybrid project.
She tells the court that the ministry had to consider Jepak’s proposal in 2016 only because they had received approval and order from Najib.
The order came in the form of a minute by Najib on Jepak’s letter dated Nov 23, 2015.
12.40pm: Sri Ram enters the courtroom.
12.50pm: Madinah tells the court about an incident in 2016 where Rosmah had shown her interest in the solar hybrid project.
According to Madinah, the incident happened after the conclusion of a Permata programme held in Putrajaya when she was asked to approach Rosmah’s car.
Madinah says that Rosmah had then told her to “have a look at the Jepak solar project” and to “expedite” it.
According to Madinah, she does not remember specifically what the programme was when the incident occurred but is sure that it had happened before June 2016.
1pm: Madinah Mohamad says that after her encounter with Rosmah sometime before June 2016, Rizal started contacting her to discuss the solar hybrid project.
She testifies that Rizal had contacted her either through WhatsApp messages or phone calls.
However, according to Madinah, she had never given her contact number to Rosmah’s aide, but it was no surprise to her that Rizal could get it due to his position in the Prime Minister’s Department and role as Rosmah’s assistant.
She claims that Rizal also mentioned Rosmah’s name in their communications, including when he was asking for progress updates on the project’s approval.
“For example, Datuk Rizal would tell me ‘mem’ is asking about the ‘progress’ of the solar hybrid project now, before asking for my help to bring up the application to the Finance Ministry because he was always being asked about it by ‘mem’,” says Madinah.
The witness says that she understood that the ‘mem’ mentioned by Rizal referred to Rosmah.
1.40pm: Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi enters the courtroom and greets Rosmah before taking a seat behind her at the public gallery.
2pm: The trial is adjourned for the day and scheduled to resume on Monday morning.
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