PUTRAJAYA (May 27): Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor today failed in a final bid to nullify her corruption trial over the M1.25 billion hybrid solar project in Sarawak and to remove Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as the lead prosecutor in the case.
A three-member bench led by Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Mohd Zawawi Salleh on grounds that the criminal court had no jurisdiction to grant the declaratory relief sought by Rosmah.
“We are in agreement with the reason proffered by the Court of Appeal. We are of the opinion that there is no inherent jurisdiction of the criminal court to grant declaratory relief,” he said.
In the unanimous decision, Justice Mohd Zawawi said there were written laws such as the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 and that the Rules of Court 2012 only conferred inherent power to the civil court.
He said the Criminal Procedure Code was a complete and comprehensive law relating to procedures in criminal proceedings.
“Therefore, the question that the criminal court has power to grant the relief does not arise at all. The appeal is dismissed,” said Justice Mohd Zawawi.
The other judges of Federal Court presiding on the bench were Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah.
The panel made the ruling after hearing submissions by Sri Ram and counsel Datuk Jagjit Singh and Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, who appeared for Rosmah.
Earlier, the apex court also dismissed Rosmah’s preliminary objection on whether it was proper for Sri Ram to represent the prosecution in today’s proceedings.
“The court did not find any evidence of conflict of interest if Sri Ram represent the prosecution. Therefore, there is no reason why he can’t submit or proceed (in the case) in his capacity as senior deputy public prosecutor. The preliminary objection is dismissed,” said Justice Mohd Zawawi.
Rosmah, 70, who is the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had appealed against the Court of Appeal’s decision on December 6 rejecting her application to nullify her entire trial in an effort to be freed of all three charges and to remove Sri Ram as the lead prosecutor in the case.
On September 24, High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan dismissed her application saying that the authorisation given by the then Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas to Sri Ram to conduct the criminal prosecution in Rosmah’s case was validly done under Section 376 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code in his capacity as the Public Prosecutor.
Rosmah is facing a charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two charges of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin through her former assistant Datuk Rizal Mansor as a reward for assisting Jepak Holdings to secure a RM1.25 billion project to equip 369 schools in rural Sarawak with solar hybrid power.
The trial of the case at the High Court has completed and Mohamed Zaini has set July 7 to deliver the decision whether Rosmah will be acquitted or convicted on the three corruption charges. – Bernama