KUALA LUMPUR: Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor has been charged for the second time over the solar hybrid project for rural schools in Sarawak.
She is accused of receiving a bribe of RM5mil from Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin through her aide Datuk Rizal Mansor at a house in Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta on Dec 20, 2016.
The money was allegedly a reward for assisting Jepak Holdings to obtain a project known as “Project Bersepadu Sistem Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Hibrid” and the genset and diesel maintenance and operation for 369 rural schools in Sarawak worth RM1.25bil through direct negotiations with the Education Ministry.
The offence under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 carries imprisonment up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if convicted.
Wearing a teal baju kurung and a matching shawl, the 68-year-old wife to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak pleaded not guilty after the charge was read out to her before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi.
“Minta bicara (I claim trial),” she said here yesterday.
DPP Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar offered bail at RM1mil in one surety on grounds that the accused was charged with a serious offence.
“The charge carries a heavy sentence under the law, if she is convicted. We are applying for bail to be imposed as the case might be tried separately with the accused’s previous cases,” he said.
Lawyer Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader however objected to the bail amount and said that bail was only to secure attendance.
“The amount is too high. She is a full-time housewife. We ask for the court’s discretion to adopt a bail of RM1mil that was used in a previous case (related to the same project),” he said.
Akberdin added that there was no need for another bail to be imposed as the charge was additional to her previous two charges on the same solar hybrid project.
“It is impossible for the court to hear the cases which involve the same witnesses in a different coram,” he said.
Azura then allowed bail from Rosmah’s previous case to be used in this case.
DPP Mohd Dusuki also informed the court that the prosecution would apply to transfer the case to the High Court. The case is fixed for mention on May 10.
This is the third time Rosmah has been brought to courts to face criminal charges.
She arrived at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex for yesterday’s proceedings at 8.40am with her son, Norashman Najib.
On Nov 15 last year, Rosmah claimed trial to two charges of graft involving RM187.5mil relating to the same project.
In the first charge, Rosmah was accused of soliciting for herself a RM187.5mil bribe from Saidi Abang Samsudin, through Rizal.
In the second charge, Rosmah was accused of receiving RM1.5mil from Saidi as a reward for assisting Jepak Holdings in obtaining the same project.
On Oct 4 last year, Rosmah was charged with 17 counts of money laundering involving RM7mil.