Rosmah fails in final bid to disqualify Gopal Sri Ram from prosecuting

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram continues as the lead prosecutor in the corruption case of Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor after the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak failed in her appeal at the Federal Court to challenge his appointment.

A three-man panel chaired by Federal Court judge Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh unanimously dismissed Rosmah's appeals here on Friday (May 27).

Other judges on the bench were Justices Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah.

In its brief decision, Justice Mohd Zawawi said the criminal court has 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.

Justice Mohd Zawawi said the Criminal Procedure Code was a complete and comprehensive law relating to the procedure in criminal proceedings.

"Therefore, the question that the criminal court has powers to grant the relief does not arise at all," he added.

On Dec 6, 2021, the Court of Appeal dismissed Rosmah’s appeal, saying that it had no jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Court of Appeal judge Justice Hanipah Farikullah, who chaired a three-member bench, said the Criminal Procedure Code did not allow a criminal court to give Rosmah any declaratory relief, a civil remedy sought under the Specific Relief Act.

Rosmah was seeking to disqualify Sri Ram from prosecuting in her solar hybrid project trial where is accused of receiving a total of RM6.5mil from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin between Dec 20, 2016, and Sept 7, 2017.

She is also charged with soliciting a RM187.5mil bribe out of a total of RM1.25bil project awarded to Jepak Holdings's Saidi, through her aide Datuk Rizal Mansor.

The High Court will be delivering its decision at the end of the defence case on July 7.

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