KUALA LUMPUR: A preliminary objection against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s second attempt to disqualify Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram from prosecuting her corruption case involving the RM1.25bil solar hybrid project will be decided on Aug 30.
Justice Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid set the date after hearing a lengthy submission from both parties for more than two hours yesterday.
If the objection raised by the prosecution were to be dismissed, Rosmah would have the chance to file for leave to initiate a judicial review to disqualify Sri Ram. Her first attempt had been denied by another High Court.
Earlier, the court heard from Sri Ram that his appointment as the ad hoc senior deputy public prosecutor was valid and affirmed by the Federal Court.
“Now they (the applicant) are asking your lordship to review that decision. We are saying that one High Court cannot review the decision of another High Court,” he said.
Sri Ram added that Rosmah’s application was scandalous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process.
Meanwhile, Rosmah’s lawyer Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader said Sri Ram’s submission “did not paint the whole picture” of the situation.
On Sept 24, 2021, High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, the presiding judge in Rosmah’s solar hybrid trial, dismissed Rosmah’s application to disqualify Sri Ram.
He ruled that Sri Ram’s appointment by then Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas was valid under Section 376(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
Rosmah appealed the decision, but it was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on Dec 6, 2021.
On May 27, the Federal Court ruled that Sri Ram was qualified to prosecute Rosmah in the solar hybrid project trial.
A three-member Bench led by Federal Court judge Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh said the criminal court had no jurisdiction to grant declaratory relief sought by Rosmah to disqualify Sri Ram.
On June 24, Rosmah, 70, tried again in her bid to remove Sri Ram by filing a judicial review application. She named the Attorney General/Public Prosecutor, the government and Sri Ram respondents.
She is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5mil and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5mil from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin through her former special officer Datuk Rizal Mansor.
It was alleged to be an inducement to help the company (Jepak Holdings) secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project and Maintenance and Operation of Genset/Diesel for 369 rural schools in Sarawak, worth RM1.25bil.
The trial at the High Court has concluded, and the verdict is scheduled to be delivered on Sept 1.