High Court allows prosecution’s attempt to impeach Rosmah

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here allowed the prosecution’s attempt to impeach Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s credibility, following contradictions in her testimony in the ongoing solar project trial and in the statement she gave to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in her money laundering case.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan allowed the admission of Rosmah’s statement – recorded under Section 32 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities (Amla) Act – to be used in questioning the inconsistencies in her evidence in the ongoing corruption trial.

“I am of the view that the statement is admissible pursuant to Section 40 of the Act and that the prosecution could proceed with its attempt to impeach the accused.

“I am, however, of the belief that the provision for impeachment is to be carried out under Section 145 and 155 of the Evidence Act and not Section 72 of Amla, as the latter pertains to a trial of an offence under the Act, which is not the case here,” said the judge.

Justice Mohamed Zaini also allowed the prosecution’s application to cross-examine Rosmah’s character on charges she currently faces under Amla relating to bank statements allegedly made by Roslan Sohari into her account.

“I am satisfied that the prosecution has satisfied the requirement under Section 54 (2) (b) of the Evidence Act. However, I will not allow any questions to be asked pertaining to the facts of the Amla charges that the accused is facing, save for the fact that she has been charged under the Act.

“I take the view that the probative value of the prosecution’s intent to bring up (the money laundering case) does not outweigh the prejudicial effect that the accused may suffer,” said Justice Mohamed Zaini.

Rosmah is facing 12 money laundering charges amounting to about RM7mil and five counts of failing to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board.

That case, also before justice Mohamed Zaini, is scheduled to begin after the corruption trial is over.

Earlier, lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram applied to the court to be allowed to impeach Rosmah and cross-examine her over her character.

“It is respectfully submitted that the accused’s statement under Section 32 of the Amla may be used in the present proceedings to contradict and to impeach the accused’s credit in the present case,” he said.

However, Rosmah’s counsels, Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader and Datuk Jagjit Singh, objected to the prosecution’s application to impeach Rosmah.

On Feb 18, the High Court ordered Rosmah to enter her defence on three charges after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in proving a prima facie case against her.

Rosmah is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5mil in bribes and two charges of receiving RM6.5mil from managing director of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd Saidi Abang Samsudin, through her former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor, as gratification for assisting Jepak Holdings to secure the Integrated Hybrid Solar Photo-voltaic System Project as well as Genset/Diesel Maintenance and Operation for 369 rural schools in Sarawak worth RM1.25bil through direct negotiations with the Education Ministry.

The trial before justice Mohamed Zaini will resume on Dec 8. —Bernama

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