Rosmah to know tomorrow whether to enter defence


TOMORROW, all eyes will be on Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor as the High Court in Kuala Lumpur (KL) will decide whether to acquit her or call her to enter defence in her corruption case relating to the solar hybrid project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

Rosmah, 69, the wife of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd’s former MD Saidi Abang Samsudin.

If ordered to enter her defence, Rosmah has three options — either keep quiet and not answer to the charges, give an unsworn statement from the dock without being cross-examined by the prosecution, or testify under oath on the witness stand with the prosecution given the opportunity to question her during cross-examination.

The prosecution had on Dec 11 last year, wrapped up its case against Rosmah after calling 23 witnesses in the trial which started on Feb 5.

Among the witnesses called were Saidi, Rosmah’s former special officer Datuk Rizal Mansor, former Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and the ministry’s then secretary-general Tan Sri Madinah Mohamed.

Rosmah was initially supposed to be tried with Rizal, 46, who was charged with four counts of soliciting and receiving bribes on her behalf over the project.

However, the court had, on Jan 8 last year, acquitted Rizal of the charges after the prosecution withdrew all four charges against him. He then became a key prosecution witness.

Rosmah had, on Nov 15, 2018, pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court in KL to two corruption charges.

The charges framed under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act, which provides for imprisonment of 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.

All the cases had been transferred from the Sessions Court to the High Court for trial presided by Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.