Crime & Courts

Ask her to come in, judge tells Rosmah's lawyer

KUALA LUMPUR: The corruption trial involving Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor resumed today with the self-styled former "first lady of Malaysia" facing off with lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram over her failure to comply with a court order to return from Singapore on the stipulated date.

However, before the trial could start, her counsel Datuk Jagjit Singh tried to alert High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan that his client's MySejahtera status was still yellow indicating she had been in close contact with a Covid 19 positive person.

Jagjit explained how three members of Rosmah's household had tested positive, bringing up the government's plans to enhance punishment against those who flouted the standard operating procedures (SOP) concerning Covid-19 protocols.

However, after listening to it all, Zaini thanked Jagjit for briefing the court and ordered for Rosmah to be called into the courtroom.

"Thank You... Ask her to come in," he said before Rosmah slowly made her way into the witness stand from an adjoining room.

The 69-year old then went on to take her oath before lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram carried on with the proceedings.

However, Rosmah stopped him in his tracks by asking the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) to wait.

"Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, can I settle down first," she said looking straight at the former Federal Court Judge.

After she finally settled down, Sri Ram went for the jugular by asking Rosmah to explain her seeming disrespect for the court.

Sri Ram who has never referred to Rosmah by anything other than calling her "the accused", or "witness", wanted her to explain her failure to comply with a court order on the stipulated time for her to return from Singapore where she was visiting her daughter.

Sri Ram: I put it to you that you do not have any respect for this court.

Rosmah: I disagree...I will leave it to my counsel to explain.

This prompted Jagjit to stand up before protesting that the issue had been settled previously when an explanation was given to the court on the matter.

"We have sorted this previously... your lordship asked to explain and we had done so," he said.

However, Sri Ram said he was entitled to get an explanation from Rosmah herself.

"We want to show that she is a person incapable of showing respect to the court," he said, prompting Zaini to state that the defence's explanation was already on record.

Sri Ram however pointed out that no one had said it under oath why the court order was breached, leading Zaini to allow the DPP to get an explanation from Rosmah.

Sri Ram: The truth of the matter is you have no good reason to be absent from court.

Rosmah: I disagree completely.

Sri Ram then proceeded to continue with the proceedings.

Rosmah, who is being defended by Jagjit and Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, has been ordered to enter her defence against charges of soliciting RM187.5 million from Jepak Holdings Bhd to help the company to supply solar energy to rural schools in Sarawak.

She is also accused of receiving RM6.5 million to ensure the company got the project.

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