Apex Court dismisses Rosmah’s bid for leave to appeal over bid to challenge late Sri Ram’s appointment as lead prosecutor

PUTRAJAYA — Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (picture) has failed to obtain leave to appeal against the ruling of the Court of Appeal over her bid to challenge the validity of the late Datuk Gopal Sri Ram’s appointment as lead prosecutor and to nullify her solar hybrid corruption trial.

The Federal Court’s three-member panel led by Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim dismissed her application and ordered her to pay costs of RM30,000.

Justice Abang Iskandar said Rosmah’s application to seek leave to appeal did not meet the threshold requirements of Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.

“There are no novel issues that have been shown that would merit further ventilation,” he said, adding that there were also no issues of public importance for consideration by the court.

The other two judges were Justices Datuk Nordin Hassan and Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil.

An applicant must obtain leave to proceed with the appeal to the Federal Court. The applicant must also convince the Federal Court that the proposed appeal contains novel legal questions of public importance which are being raised for the first time and ought to be further ventilated by the court.

Rosmah, who is the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had filed a leave application to commence judicial review at the High Court on June 24, 2022, to challenge the validity of Sri Ram’s appointment as lead prosecutor in her case and to nullify her corruption trial.

She named the Attorney General, the government of Malaysia and Sri Ram as respondents.

Rosmah, 72, sought a declaration that the appointment of Sri Ram as senior deputy public prosecutor through three letters of appointment (fiat), dated July 8, 2020, May 11 and May 21, 2021, respectively, was unlawful.

She also sought a declaration that the entire proceedings and full trial of her solar case which took place from Nov 15, 2018, until the defence closed the case, were invalid and void and that she must be acquitted of all charges under Section 16 (a) (A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.

On Aug 30, 2022, the High Court dismissed her application. The Court of Appeal dismissed her appeal on June 22, last year, prompting her to apply for leave to appeal to the Federal Court.

On Sept 1, 2022, High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan (now a Court of Appeal judge) found Rosmah guilty of the corruption charges in the solar hybrid project case and sentenced her to 10 years in jail and fined RM970 million.

She has filed an appeal against her conviction and sentence and is currently out on a RM2 million bail. Her appeal is fixed for case management on April 23.

Meanwhile, Sri Ram, who was a former Federal Court judge, passed away at the age of 79 in January last year.

In the proceedings before the Federal Court today, Rosmah, through her lawyers Datuk Jagjit Singh and Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, urged the court to allow her leave application and asked the court to decide on six legal questions.

Senior federal counsel (SFC) Shamsul Bolhassan,  assisted by SFC Liew Horng Bin, appearing for the respondents, submitted that the leave to appeal application should be dismissed as the questions of law posed were not novel questions and were not beneficial and important to the public. — BERNAMA / pic credit: MEDIA MULIA