KUALA LUMPUR (March 15): Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who was charged along with her former aide with receiving bribes in connection with implementation of the solar hybrid system project for rural schools in Sarawak, will now have her case heard in the High Court. Rosmah is the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah today allowed the prosecution's application to transfer Rosmah’s case to the High Court.
However, lawyer Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader who acted for Rosmah confirmed that Rosmah will file an appeal in the Court of Appeal next week and wants the court to suspend her case pending the decision of the Court of Appeal.
“We will appeal till to the Federal Court and ask for a stay,” he said.
The prosecution made the application to transfer this case to the High Court pursuant to section 417(1)(e) of the Criminal Procedure Code on the grounds that the application is expedient for the justice of all parties as Rosmah’s 17 charges under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds
of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 had been transferred to the High Court on the same basis.
Besides Rosmah, her former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor, who is charged with similar offences over the same project had applied to transfer his case to the High Court. The prosecution thinks it is necessary to transfer Rosmah’s case to the High Court for the prosecution to make an application.
The prosecution team led by former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram is also of the view that there cannot be a multilevel trial where Rosmah who is the main accused in this case is tried before a lower court (Session Court) while the co-accused Rizal’s case is tried before the High Court.
Earlier, lawyers Datuk Jagjit Singh who is also representing Rosmah raised an objection and asked the High Court to dismiss the transfer application on the basis that the application is frivolous and an abuse of the court process.
According to Jagjit and Akberdin, the prosecution did not give any grounds as to why this case should be transfered to the High Court.
“They (prosecution) must justify why they’re doing so? You must convince the court. They chose not to charge them (Rosmah and Rizal) together in the lower court, why come to the High Court and asked for a joint trial?” , they added.
Sri Ram in replying said the prosecution did not make any application to transfer Rizal’s case to the High Court as it was Rizal’s decision to do so.
“We are not the person to charge them in separate courts, the electronic system made it,” he explained.
The High Court then set March 20 for case management of the matter before another High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan as Zaini will hear Rizal’s case.
The court electronic system randomly assigns courts where the case would be heard.
On Nov 15 last year, Rosmah pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here to two counts of receiving bribes, totaling RM1.5 million, in the implementation of the project to supply and install solar energy at 369 rural schools in Sarawak two years ago.
She was charged under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act, and can face imprisonment of up to 20 years and fine of not less than five times the amount of the gratification of RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.