Rosmah’s defence team says she has raised reasonable doubt in her corruption case

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Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor has raised a reasonable doubt in her corruption case involving a hybrid solar project for rural schools in Sarawak despite her husband, Datuk Seri Najib Razak not called to testify for the defence.

Art Chen/The Star

The defence’s team, in its written submission, said it elected not to call Najib as a defence witness as his evidence was merely corroborative in nature.

“We respectfully submit that it is the defence’s prerogative to call the offered witness, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to testify before the court. However, on Jan 10, the defence lead counsel, Datuk Jagjit Singh informed the court that the it had decided to restrategise after discussing the merits of calling Najib and elected not to call him because his evidence was merely corroborative in nature.

“Lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram said the prosecution had no issues with the defence’s decision not to call Najib, as it was the defence’s prerogative to do so,” the defence said in its written submission filed at the High Court here on March 29.

In the submission at the end of the defence’s case, it said the prosecution had completely failed to adduce evidence that the accused (Rosmah) had indeed solicited and received any gratification from Jepak Holdings Sdn managing director, Saidi Abang Samsudin.

It further said the prosecution continued to find the accused at fault without any basis and evidence, although the prosecution itself admitted that the accused occupied no official position in the government.

“Therefore, it is our respectful submission that it is obvious that the accusations and charges against the accused are frivolous and done with the sole purpose to make the accused a scapegoat.

“Hence, the statutory presumption under Section 50(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 cannot be invoked against the accused as the prosecution failed to establish the essential ingredients of the three offences in this case,” the defence said.

On Feb 23, the defence closed its case after calling two witnesses, Rosmah and former director of the First Lady of Malaysia (FLOM) division, Datuk Seri Siti Azizah Sheikh Abod.

High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan set Tuesday (April 5) for hearing an oral submission from both the prosecution and defence.

On Feb 18 last year, Rosmah, 70, was ordered to enter her defence on the three charges after the prosecution succeeded in proving a prima facie case against her.

She faces one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Saidi.

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