Rosmah Mansor slapped with another charge in solar hybrid project case

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 10): Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was slapped with another charge at the Sessions Court here today for receiving a bribe involving RM5 million in connection with the implementation of the solar hybrid system project for rural schools in Sarawak.

Rosmah, who is the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

"I claim trial," she said while in the dock.

Clad in green 'baju kurung' with a matching scarf, Rosmah, 67, arrived at the court at 8.50am accompanied by her son Norashman Najib. She appeared calm when heading to the Sessions Court.

Rosmah was alleged to have received RM5 million from Saidi Abang Samsudin, 59, the managing director of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd through Datuk Rizal Mansor, her former aide.

The amount was allegedly solicited by Rosmah as an inducement to help the company secure a tender through direct negotiation from the Education Ministry, worth RM1.25 billion for a solar hybrid project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

The offence was allegedly committed at No 11, Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta, here on Dec 20, 2016.

The charge, under Section 16(A)(a) of the MACC Act 2009, provides for a maximum jail term of 20 years and fine of not less than five times the amount of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar suggested that bail was set at RM1 million with one surety on grounds that Rosmah was charged with a serious offence and that the amount involved was high.

He applied for a bail to be imposed as the case might be tried separately from Rosmah's previous case which is related to the same project.

Mohd Dusuki also indicated to the court that the prosecution would apply to transfer the case to the High Court.

However, lawyer Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, who acted for Rosmah, objected and said the bail amount proposed by the prosecution was too high.

"She is a full-time housewife. We are asking for the court's kindness to adopt the bail which was set for her previous cases which involve the same project," Akberdin said.

Rosmah has been present in the court without failure and the bail was only to secure her attendance, he added.

Sessions Court Judge Azura Alwi then allowed the defence team's application to adopt the bail of RM1 million that has been set for her previous cases and fixed the case for mention on May 10.

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.

The MACC had arrested Rosmah at 1:45pm yesterday after she was present at the commission's headquarters to complete the final investigation process on the solar hybrid project case at 1:40pm.

She was then released on an MACC bail.