KUALA LUMPUR: A witness told the Rosmah Mansor corruption trial today that the former prime minister’s wife had never denied or clarified whether Rizal Mansor was her then special officer.
Madinah Mohamad, who was then the education ministry secretary-general, said this when questioned by ad-hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram as to how she knew about the link between Rizal and Rosmah.
“He introduced himself as the special officer for Datin Seri Rosmah,” she said, adding she usually saw Rizal at Permata-related events.
Sri Ram then asked, “Did the accused (Rosmah) tell you that he was not her special officer?”.
Madinah said Rosmah had never done so.
Rizal was initially slapped with four corruption charges for allegedly soliciting and receiving bribes for himself and Rosmah amounting to RM5.5 million over a solar project for schools.
However, the corruption charges against him were dropped before the trial began.
Earlier, Rosmah’s lawyer Akberdin Abdul Kader had asked Madinah if she could confirm whether Rizal was a media officer in the Prime Minister’s Office’s (PMO) special unit or Rosmah’s aide.
Madinah said she knew Rizal as Rosmah’s special officer and she did not know that Rizal had previously worked in a television station before joining the PMO.
Akberdin: I have to ask the question based on my client’s (Rosmah) instruction. Are you aware that Rizal reported to Siti Azizah Sheikh Abod, who was the head of department for the special unit?
Madinah: I am not sure.
Asked if she knew that Rizal might be misusing Rosmah’s name for his own benefit, Madinah said she did not know if this was so.
Rosmah is charged with three counts of corruption for allegedly soliciting RM187.5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd’s Saidi Abang Samsudin as an inducement to help the company secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project and Maintenance and Operation of Genset/Diesel for 369 rural schools in Sarawak, worth a total of RM1.25 billion through direct negotiations with the education ministry.
She is also accused of receiving bribes amounting to RM6.5 million from Saidi between 2016 and 2017.
The hearing continues on Feb 20.