KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today postponed Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor's(pix) corruption trial in connection with the solar energy project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak as her MySejahtera status showed that she had close contact with a Covid-19 case.
Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan also vacated tomorrow's hearing after Rosmah's counsel Datuk Jagjit Singh told the court that her MySejahtera status is orange.
“My client is present today and we told her to stay in the car waiting for your lordship’s decision whether to continue the proceedings or to vacate. Her husband’s (former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) MySejahtera status is red,” the lawyer said.
Asked by Justice Mohamed Zaini whether Najib is positive for Covid-19, Jagjit replied: “I am not sure, but I was informed his status (MySejahtera) is red.
Justice Mohamed Zaini said red means the person is positive for Covid-19 to which the lawyer replied that he was not sure.
Justice Mohamed Zaini said the court complex’s standard operating procedures (SOP) only allowed people with blue MySejahtera status to enter the building and will not allow those with close or casual contact (with COVID-19 cases) into the premises.
“Even if I were to insist on her (Rosmah) to enter the building, the security downstairs will not permit her to enter, so they can override me. This is a strict regulation that I have to oblige. Thus, I will vacate today and tomorrow’s proceedings,“ the judge said.
He also instructed the defence counsel to check and update Rosmah’s MySejahtera status as the trial should be continued this Friday.
“This is a responsibility you have to take...you need to ensure your client update her MySejahtera and inform the court on any latest developments. If her status is blue (low-risk), we will continue the trial on Friday,“ he said.
Earlier, senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram had told the court that he had been informed by the defence counsel that Rosmah has been in close contact with someone suffering from COVID-19.
“I leave it entirely to your lordship because we are ready to continue our cross-examination on Rosmah, but we are in your lordship’s hands,“ said Sri Ram, who is a former Federal Court judge.
Meanwhile, Justice Mohamed Zaini also asked the defence to explain to the court why Rosmah failed to return from her trip to Singapore by Nov 21 as ordered by the court in October.
“From what I read in the press, pursuant to the order that I had issued on Oct 15, 2021, would you like to clarify? Because pursuant to the order that I had given, your client was supposed to return to Malaysia on or before Nov 21, and based on what I read in the papers, she did not come back on that date.
“But that to me is hearsay, I would like to hear from you Datuk Jagjit,” the judge said.
Jagjit explained that there was a change in his client’s travel plans considering the change in the quarantine rules under the new Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between Malaysia and Singapore and he also apologised to the court on behalf of Rosmah.
Justice Mohamed Zaini said that a court order must be followed at all times.
“I understand the shift in government policy...My order, however, had not changed. There is no need for the order if we allow it to be violated. You have been practising for at least 30 to 40 years...you ought to know better,“ he said.
On Oct 15, Justice Mohamed Zaini allowed Rosmah’s application for the temporary return of her passport to enable her to go to Singapore to visit her eldest daughter, Nooryana Najwa, who gave birth to her second child.
Justice Mohamed Zaini said Rosmah must return to Malaysia before or on Nov 21 and the passport must be returned to the court before or on Dec 6, 2021.
Rosmah, 69, is facing a charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two charges of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin through her former assistant Datuk Rizal Mansor as a reward for assisting Jepak Holdings to secure the RM1.25 billion project to equip 369 schools in rural Sarawak with solar hybrid power. - Bernama