KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The High Court here on Wednesday (Sept 9) dismissed an application by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to bar the media from reporting certain parts of the witness statement by her former special officer Datuk Rizal Mansor, which was read out in her graft trial relating to the solar hybrid projects for rural schools in Sarawak.
Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan dismissed the application, saying that he was not of the mind to bar the media from reporting the testimony given by Rizal, 46, the 21st prosecution witness.
Rosmah’s defence team had earlier objected to certain parts of Rizal’s witness statement, which they claimed, among other things, was highly prejudicial and amounted to character assassination.
Lawyer Datuk Jagjit Singh said the court should make an order for the media to be barred from reporting the disputed parts in Rizal’s witness statement that was read out during the prosecution’s examination-in-chief.
He said the court should first make a ruling on whether the disputed parts in the witness statement were admissible.
"The evidence has not been tested yet on admissibility. The (disputed parts) of the witness statement are extremely prejudicial and should not be published as it damages our client as it is pure character assassination, ” he said.
Lawyer Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader also said that in the interest of justice, the disputed part of the witness statement should not be carried (by the media) until the end of the case.
Justice Mohamed Zaini, however, said the court would not bar the media from covering Rizal’s testimony in today's proceedings.
"I am not of the mind to bar media reporting. You (defence) are at liberty to cross-examine the witness, ” said the judge before directing Rizal to continue reading out his 46-page witness statement.
Rosmah, 68, the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, is on trial on one charge of soliciting RM187.5mil and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5mil from Jepak Holdings’ former managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin.
The bribes were allegedly received through Rizal as a reward for helping Jepak Holdings secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project, as well as the maintenance and operation of diesel gen-sets, for 369 Sarawak rural schools worth RM1.25 billion from the Education Ministry through direct negotiation.
The acts were allegedly committed at Lygon Cafe, Sunway Putra Mall, Jalan Putra here; Rosmah’s residence at Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta and at Seri Perdana, Persiaran Seri Perdana, Precinct 10, Putrajaya between January 2016 and Sept 2017. – Bernama
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