Rosmah fails in bid to stay case transfer to High Court

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on May 3, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, yesterday failed in her bid to stay the High Court’s decision, which allowed the prosecution to transfer her RM1.5 million solar project corruption case from the Sessions Court to the High Court.

After hearing both parties, Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah ruled that any issue related to any alleged impropriety of the transfer can be raised at any time.

“There is an alternative remedy, which on order principles would preclude this court from exercising its inherit jurisdiction. Public interest element dictates this case should proceed without delay,” he said when dismissing Rosmah’s stay application.

Meanwhile, Justice Sequerah also allowed the prosecution’s application to transfer this case to another High Court, which is presided by Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan where Rosmah’s 17 charges under Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing Act (Amla) 2001 and her former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor’s solar project graft case linked to Rosmah are being heard.

Justice Sequerah agreed with the prosecution that the application to transfer this case to another High Court does not violate Section 417 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

On Nov 15 last year, Rosmah pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here to two counts of receiving bribes, totalling RM1.5 million, in the implementation of the project to supply and install solar energy at 369 rural schools in Sarawak two years ago.

On March 15, the High Court allowed the prosecution’s application to transfer her case from Sessions Court to High Court.

Later yesterday, Counsel Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, who acted for Rosmah, told reporters that the defence team will seek instruction from Rosmah on whether they will appeal against the High Court’s decision.

The prosecution team was led by former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.