AGC to apply for Rosmah and ex-aide to be jointly tried

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 21): The Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) will make an application again to have Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and her former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor's corruption and money laundering charges to be tried together.

The prosecution team led by former Federal Court Judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram told the High Court that they will make the application for a joint trial after all three cases had been transferred to the High Court before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.

Sri Ram confirmed that the prosecution has yet to file the joint trial application.

Last Friday (March 15), High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed the prosecution's application to transfer Rosmah's corruption case to the High Court.

However, the case which originally came from the Sessions Court was only officially transferred to the High Court Registry yesterday.

Zaini then fixed the matter for further case management on April 22 while waiting for Rosmah's corruption case to be mentioned again in the High Court.

Lawyer Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent, who is representing Rosmah, told reporters that Zaini can only hear the joint trial application after all three cases had been handed over before the judge.

"The case must be here for the application (joint trial) to be heard, right now, we only have Datin Seri Rosmah's AMLA (money laundering) case," he said.

Geethan explained that the three cases were charged before three different Sessions Courts previously, and the prosecution needs to apply to transfer all the cases to the same High Court before the hearing of the joint trial application.

"That's what we are waiting for, and the next date is case management for the court to check whether all cases has reached the same court; only then the High Court will fix a date for the hearing of the joint trial application," he added.

On Nov 15 last year, Rosmah, 67, wife of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, 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.

On the same day, Rizal, 46, pleaded not guilty to four counts of soliciting and accepting bribes for himself and Rosmah, amounting to RM5.5 million, involving the supply of equipment and installation of the solar hybrid system for rural schools in Sarawak.

They were charged under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act (MACC) 2009, and face 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.

On the money laundering case, Rosmah pleaded not guilty to 17 charges over some RM7.1 million allegedly transferred into her personal bank account between 2013 and 2017.

Prior to this, the prosecution has made an application for a joint trial for Rosmah's money laundering case and the solar hybrid case along with Rizal's case as a bid to expedite the ends of justice. However, the prosecution withdrew the application on Feb 8 due to a technical issue.