KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court here today postponed Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s (picture) corruption trial in connection with the solar energy project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak after her counsel, Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader was tested positive for COVID-19.
Senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram informed judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan that not only Akberdin came down with COVID-19, but two others in her defence team – Datuk Jagjit Singh and Azrul Zulkifli Stork – were close contacts to Akberdin and needed to be quarantined.
Justice Mohamed Zaini said that the court had also been notified of the matter by Jagjit’s law firm.
“I understand that he (Akberdin) was diagnosed on Feb 12. It is unfortunate to hear that. I wish him well,” he said.
Justice Mohamed Zaini then adjourned today’s proceedings and fixed on Feb 23 for the trial to resume.
Today was initially fixed for the last-day hearing of the defence trial where a former special officer to former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Datuk Seri Siti Azizah Sheikh Abod was supposed to be cross-examined by the prosecution.
Meanwhile, Sri Ram told the court that an application has been filed for a star witness in the case, former Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin to be recalled to testify.
On Feb 18 last year, the High Court ordered Rosmah to defend herself on all three corruption charges involving the solar hybrid project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in proving a prima facie case against her.
Rosmah, 70, faces one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two charges of accepting bribes amounting to RM6.5 million from Saidi.
The bribe was allegedly received through her former special officer Datuk Rizal Mansor, as a reward to help Jepak Holdings to obtain the Integrated Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Hybrid System Project as well as Genset/Diesel Maintenance and Operation for 369 schools worth RM1.25 billion through direct negotiations from the Ministry of Education.