KUALA LUMPUR – The defence in the trial of Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (picture) involving a solar project in Sarawak has decided not to call her husband, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, to testify as the third defence witness.
Rosmah’s counsel Datuk Jagjit Singh informed the High Court that the defence would not be calling Najib, who was supposedly scheduled to give the evidence today.
“After a brainstorming session on Saturday to the late hours on Sunday evening, the defence has elected not to call Datuk Seri Najib as the third defence witness.
“We are also analysing the cross-examination (of Rosmah) by the prosecution and we believe the evidence from the third witness (Najib) is only corroborative in nature and the corroborative nature has already been established by the defence.
“For this reason, we have to re-strategise and we made the decision not to call Datuk Seri Najib. I apologise to your lordship. I know your lordship is conscious of the court’s time, I accept responsibility for this,” Jagjit said.
Senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram said the decision to call or not call a witness lies with the defence.
“It is for the defence to decide, we have nothing to say,” he said.
Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said he appreciated the apology from the defence.
“No harm was done,” said the judge.
Jagjit then applied for the court to vacate the hearing today and also for this week because the second defence witness, who is also Najib’s former special officer, Datuk Seri Siti Azizah Sheikh Abod, is currently performing the umrah pilgrimage in Makkah and would only be available on Feb 4.
Justice Mohamed Zaini then adjourned the proceedings to Feb 4.
On Feb 18, last year, the High Court ordered Rosmah to enter her defence on the three charges after finding the prosecution had succeeded in proving a prima facie case against her.
Rosmah is facing a charge of soliciting RM187.5 million in bribes and two charges of receiving RM6.5 million from managing director of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, Saidi Abang Samsudin through her former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor as a gratification to assist Jepak Holdings in securing the Integrated Hybrid Solar Photovoltaic System Project as well as a Genset/Diesel Maintenance and Operation project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak worth RM1.25 billion through direct negotiations from the Ministry of Education.