Rosmah's bid to disqualify prosecutor Sri Ram in her corruption trial fails again

Rosmah Mansor is facing trial over alleged corruption involving a RM1.25 billion (S$390.30 million) solar hybrid project. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Rosmah Mansor has failed in her most recent bid to disqualify Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram from leading the prosecution in her corruption case involving a RM1.25 billion (S$390.30 million) solar hybrid project.

Just two days short of the decision in the solar hybrid case, the High Court allowed a preliminary objection raised by the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) in Rosmah's application for leave to commence judicial review in her attempt to remove Datuk Seri Sri Ram.

Justice Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, in his decision, said Rosmah's leave application was not seeking the court to review a decision of an inferior court nor a decision in relation to the exercise of the public duty or function.

"I observe that the instant application is unprecedented in the context of the Malaysian judiciary where a party is actually seeking a High Court to judicially review the decision of another High Court," he said.

The court ruled that it was not necessary to deal with the merits of the application.

"This court has no jurisdiction to grant leave to hear the substantive judicial review application.

"The applicant's application for leave to commence judicial review proceedings is hereby dismissed," he said in the decision, which was delivered via e-mail.

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 Mr Sri Ram.

He ruled that Mr 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 Mr 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 Mr Sri Ram.

On June 24, Rosmah, 70, tried again in her bid to remove Mr Sri Ram by filing for leave to initiate the judicial review application.

She named the Attorney-General/Public Prosecutor, the government and Mr Sri Ram as respondents.

Rosmah is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin through her former special officer 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 RM1.25 billion.

The trial at the High Court has concluded and the verdict is scheduled to be delivered on Thursday (Sept 1).

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