KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court’s decision to call Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to enter her defence on three graft charges involving a solar hybrid project worth RM1.25bil in Sarawak has left her upset and distressed, says her lawyer.
Datuk Jagjit Singh said the wife of the former premier was “emotionally upset and distressed” after the verdict was delivered by Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan here yesterday.
“We had to comfort her a little bit and we just told her to go back to her house and remove all the stress that’s controlling her... to relax at home, ” Jagjit told the press.
In his ruling, Justice Zaini said he had given a maximum evaluation of the prosecution’s case and found it had proven a prima facie case.
“The prosecution had adduced credible evidence to prove the elements under the charges.
“If unrebutted or unexplained, it would warrant a conviction. I therefore call for the accused to enter her defence, ” he said.
Rosmah, 70, has three options – either keep silent and not answer to the charges, give an unsworn statement from the dock without being cross-examined by the prosecution, or testify under oath on the witness stand with the prosecution given the opportunity to question her during cross-examination.
She was seen consulting with Jagjit briefly from the dock and told the judge that she opted for testimony under oath on the witness stand.
As the court went into a short recess for parties to fix trial dates, Datuk Seri Najib Razak was seen putting his arm around her shoulders. The Pekan MP sat at the public gallery throughout his wife’s proceedings.
The defence trial dates are fixed for seven days in June (9th, 10th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 22nd, and 23rd) and two days in July (12th and 15th).
Speaking to reporters later, Jagjit said the defence team, led by him and co-counsel Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kadir, was saddened by the court’s ruling but would give their best for Rosmah’s defence.
“To say that we are disappointed is an understatement, ” he said.
Jagjit said the defence planned to call Najib, who is currently embroiled in his own 1Malaysia Development Bhd trial, to the stand to testify in Rosmah’s defence.
The defence has five witnesses so far and has been offered some 10 witnesses by the prosecution.
“We need to look into the list to see who we need to call or otherwise, ” he added.
Rosmah is accused of soliciting RM187.5mil and two counts of receiving a bribe of RM6.5mil from former managing director of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, Saidi Abang Samsudin, through her former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor, in exchange for helping Jepak Holdings obtain the RM1.25bil project to provide solar energy to 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
She allegedly committed the offences at three places, namely Lygon Cafe at Sunway Putra Mall in Jalan Putra here; her house at Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta here; and at the Seri Perdana Residence, Persiaran Seri Perdana, Precinct 10, Putrajaya; between January 2016 and Sept 7,2017.