Friday 02 Jun 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 12): In a last ditch attempt to remove Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan from presiding over her money laundering and tax evasion charges, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor has filed a second application at the last minute to have another judge preside over her second trial.

Just prior to the start of her trial on Wednesday (Jan 12) afternoon, Rosmah's lawyers filed a notice of motion through the law firm Messrs. Reza Rahim & Rajivan at the High Court at 5pm on Tuesday.

The wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in her affidavit in support of her application that she believed that Justice Zaini, who had presided over her solar hybrid trial, may be influenced by questions of fact and legal issues involved in her case, as he had already heard 23 prosecution witnesses in the earlier trial.

“Basically, Justice Zaini heard two different cases, namely the solar case and the money laundering case, which involve the same accused, that is me, and was therefore influenced by the question of facts and law involved,” she said.

Rosmah noted that there were also similar witnesses involved when the judge had presided over the 1Malaysia Development Bhd audit case involving Najib and also the prosecution's forfeiture application against her, Najib, and their children Nooryana Najwa and Nor Ashman, and her son from a previous marriage Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz.

She said as this may involve similar witnesses, she feared that as Justice Zaini had already presided in those cases and also the solar hybrid case, there could be a real danger of bias against her.

“Justice Zaini has also heard evidence regarding the behaviour (character) in the solar case, therefore is influenced by the question of facts and legal issues involved.

“If Justice Zaini continues to hear the money laundering case, there is a possibility that his stand is also in conflict with the provisions of the law. Justice Zaini has also given permission to challenge (impeach) my statement in the solar case,” she said.

Rosmah added that Justice Zaini had also ruled that there was a prima facie case against her in her solar hybrid case and hence, may also be influenced by the matter that is in fact and also law.

“If Justice Zaini continues hearing this money laundering case, then his actions may also be inconsistent with the Judges’ Code of Ethics 2009,” she contended.

Rosmah said the cumulative effect of the judge having presided over other similar cases involving her and her husband, may lead to him (Justice Zaini) being influenced in her second trial.

Prosecution undertakes to hand over video recording of her MACC statement

Apart from the recusal application against Justice Zaini, the defence also applied for a stay of proceedings of the trial. Moreover, it also questioned Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram’s fiat to prosecute the case.

Rosmah's lawyers, led by Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent, Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin and Mohd Reza Rahim, also requested for the video recording of Rosmah giving her statement to the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission in 2018.

The defence had been given 134 pages of the transcript but not a recording of the video and audio of the interrorgation.

Sri Ram gave an undertaking that the prosecution would pass the video recording to the defence via a handover of CDs of those recordings.

“I have informed him that there is no necessity for him to pursue the application because he has my undertaking that we will give him the copies of the recording.

“I have with me the list and I have handed (it) to the defence and the copy to your lordship of the actual timings. The copies of the disks are being made and they will be made available to them in a week’s time,” said Sri Ram, adding he had informed the defence of this on Tuesday, before Wednesday's proceedings.

Geethan said the defence would withdraw the application, following which Justice Zaini struck out the matter.

Correction: On Jan 12, 2022, The Edge erroneously referred to Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor as “the former wife of the former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak” in the third paragraph of this article. The Edge apologises to Datin Seri Rosmah for the mistake. The error is much regretted.

Edited ByPauline Ng
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