Rosmah Mansor charged again over Sarawak solar hybrid project

DATIN Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, was back in the Sessions Court today to face a new charge over the solar hybrid project for rural schools in Sarawak.

She was charged with accepting gratification of RM5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd for allegedly helping the company to secure the project.

Rosmah, 68, who was in a matching green baju kurung and shawl, pleaded not guilty to the charge which was read out before judge Azura Alwi.

It is the third time that Rosmah was charged in the Sessions Court over the solar hybrid project.

The new charge brings to 20 the total number of charges against Rosmah, with 12 of them for money laundering, five for failing to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) and three for soliciting and accepting gratification for the implementation of the solar hybrid project.

She arrived at the Jalan Duta Court Complex at 8.40 am, accompanied by her son, Mohd Ashman Mohd Najib.

According to the new charge, Rosmah was alleged to have corruptly accepted for herself RM5 million from one Saidi Abang Samsudin, 60, through Rizal Mansor, 45, as gratification for helping Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd to secure the project, known as  the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project and Maintenance and Operation of Genset/Deisel, a solar hybrid project for 396 rural schools in Sarawak through direct negotiation from the Education Ministry.

She was charged with committing the offence at No 11, Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta, here on Dec 20, 2016, under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009,  which is punishable under Section  24(1) of the same law.

The law provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years and fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty.

The prosecution, conducted by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar, offered bail at RM1 million in one surety on grounds that it involved a serious offence and that when the offence was allegedly committed, Rosmah was the wife of a prime minister.

Mohd Dusuki also said although the new charge was related with the previous two charges made against Rosmah, a separate bail was necessary to avoid any inconvenience should the three charges could not be tried together.

He said the prosecution would apply for the new case to be transferred to the High Court for it to be heard together with the two other charges on the solar project made against Rosmah.

Lawyer Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader , who is leading the defence team, however,  requested the court to apply the bail of RM1 million which was imposed on his client for her other cases that involved the same project.

“The amount of RM1 million offered for the bail is high. She (Rosmah) has been charged previously. She is a full-time housewife, never fail to be present in court and has been charged with two related charges,” he added.

Azura then allowed  Rosmah to adopt the bail that was imposed for her previous cases and fixed May 10 for mention.         

On Oct 4, 2018, Rosmah pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here to 12 counts of money laundering, involving RM7,097,750, and five counts for failing to declare her income to the IRB.

The charges for tax evasion were made under Section 77(1) of the Income Tax Act 1967 required her to furnish returns of her income for the assessment year 2013 to 2017 to the IRB Director-General on or before April 30, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 without reasonable excuse contrary to Section 112 of the law.         On Nov 15 last year, she pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court to two counts of soliciting RM187.5 million and receiving RM1.5 million for projects to provide solar energy to  369 rural schools in Sarawak.

The charge was made under Section 16(a) (A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act (MACC), which provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.