Valid reason to inspect Sri Ram’s letter, says Rosmah’s lawyer

Rosmah Mansor filed an application last month to compel lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram to produce his licence to prosecute.

KUALA LUMPUR: Rosmah Mansor, who is facing corruption charges, has a valid reason to inspect the appointment letter of lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram in her trial, the High Court heard today.

“In law, my client has a legitimate expectation to see Sri Ram’s instrument of appointment,” lawyer Jagjit Singh said in his submission.

He said in the 1MDB case, where Rosmah’s husband Najib Razak was charged with corruption and money laundering, the prosecution was ordered by the Federal Court to produce Sri Ram’s appointment letter.

Sri Ram, a retired Federal Court judge now practising law, was appointed by then attorney-general Tommy Thomas to go through 1MDB investigation papers and also lead prosecution in two 1MDB cases.

Jagjit said it was unlikely that Sri Ram’s appointment also involved prosecuting his client.

“Other deputy public prosecutors in Sri Ram’s team can continue with the trial if he is not tasked to prosecute Rosmah. We are not asking for a retrial,” he added.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said in Najib’s case, the apex court ordered the prosecution to give the defence lawyers a copy of Sri Ram’s letter as they had also questioned the validity of his appointment.

“In this case, Rosmah cannot inspect the letter as she is not questioning Sri Ram’s appointment,” Akram said, adding that the Federal Court had also stated that the mere inspection only amounted to being a busybody.

“Rosmah’s application is misconceived and an abuse of the process,” he said.

Rosmah last month filed an application to compel Sri Ram to produce his licence to prosecute.

Deputy public prosecutor Poh Yin Tinn, who filed a counter-affidavit to oppose the move, said the application was misconceived as there was no power allowing the High Court to make such an order.

He also said the application was an abuse of the court process and made in bad faith with the collateral purpose of obstructing and delaying the trial.

Rosmah was charged with soliciting RM187.5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director and majority shareholder Saidi Abang Samsudin as an inducement to help the company secure a solar hybrid project for 369 schools in Sarawak.

She is also accused of receiving bribes amounting to RM6.5 million from Saidi between 2016 and 2017.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan will deliver his ruling on Aug 17.