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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Three versions of ‘fiat’ over Sri Ram’s appointment, says Rosmah

 

Rosmah Mansor said her constitutional and legal rights were violated when Gopal Sri Ram also conducted prosecution after she was first charged.

PUTRAJAYA: The prosecution’s three versions of “fiat” to legitimise the appointment of Gopal Sri Ram to prosecute Rosmah Mansor in her corruption trial over the solar power project for rural Sarawak schools was done with bad faith, the Court of Appeal has been told.

The wife of former prime minister Najib Razak said the High Court had also erred in law and fact in stating that former attorney-general Tommy Thomas’ decision to pick Sri Ram for the 1MDB related trial also included Rosmah’s corruption case.

In her petition of appeal filed in the Court of Appeal last week and sighted by FMT , Rosmah said High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan failed to consider the three striking versions.

The appeal will be heard on Nov 15.

Thomas, who was attorney-general and public prosecutor from June 2018 to Feb 2020, had appointed Sri Ram on Aug 30, 2018 to conduct 1MDB cases.

Rosmah, however, said her constitutional and legal rights were violated when Sri Ram also conducted prosecution after she was first charged on Nov 15, 2018. She said it was done with bad faith.

Outlining the three versions, she pointed out that on May 11 this year, Thomas affirmed an affidavit that he appointed Sri Ram, a retired judge, as senior deputy public prosecutor (DPP) to conduct all criminal trials, including Rosmah Mansor’s corruption case.

Thomas said Sri Ram had all the powers of a public prosecutor as his appointment was made under Section 376 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

In the second version, Rosmah said Idrus Harun, who succeeded Thomas, issued a backdated appointment letter on July 8 last year to Sri Ram.

Later, she said that on May 21 this year, Idrus issued another letter that he appointed Sri Ram as senior DPP under Section 376 (3) of the CPC to specifically conduct Rosmah’s trials and other related matters.

Rosmah said both letters by Idrus were just afterthoughts and prejudiced her.

On Sept 24, Zaini dismissed Rosmah’s application to disqualify Sri Ram from prosecuting her and also to declare the trial a nullity.

Zaini said Sri Ram’s appointment under Sections 376, 377, 378 and 379 of the CPC by Thomas in August 2018 was valid.

Zaini also accepted the alternative submission by the prosecution that Idrus’ backdated appointment letter for Sri Ram, which was issued on May 21 this year, could cure any defect by Thomas.

He said this was because Section 50(b) of the Interpretation Acts 1948 and 1967 empowers any authority to make an appointment with retrospective effect.

Rosmah is charged with soliciting RM187.5 million from contractor Saidi Abang Samsudin in the Sarawak schools solar hybrid project, as well as receiving RM6.5 million in cash from him.

It is alleged that the money was meant to help Saidi’s company, Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd secure the RM1.25 billion project. - FMT

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