PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal today dismissed Rosmah Mansor’s application to remove Gopal Sri Ram as the senior deputy public prosecutor and declare her ongoing corruption trial linked to the RM1.25 billion Sarawak rural schools’ solar hybrid energy project a nullity.
This follows the decision by a three-member bench chaired by Hanipah Farikullah to allow a preliminary objection by the prosecution that it had no jurisdiction to hear the appeal.
Hanipah, who sat with M Gunalan and Hashim Hamzah, said nothing in the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) allows a criminal court to give any declaratory relief sought under the Specific Relief Act.
“For this reason, the court has no jurisdiction to grant the relief sought,” Hanipah said, adding that the bench could not proceed to hear the merit of the appeal.
Rosmah, who had been ordered to enter her defence, will resume giving evidence before trial judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan on Wednesday.
On Nov 15, Sri Ram raised a preliminary objection that this court could not entertain Rosmah’s appeal as the order made by Zaini was in the course of the trial and not a final ruling.
“Her decision to remove me as prosecutor is premature. She can raise this as a ground of appeal later only if the High Court judge finds her guilty of the corruption charges,” he said.
He said his appointment would become a non-issue if the trial court acquitted Rosmah.
Sri Ram said a criminal court had no jurisdiction to allow Rosmah’s application for a declaration to remove him from leading the prosecution team and annul her trial.
He said a criminal court could only acquit, convict or quash a charge for being groundless.
Rosmah should have filed a judicial review in a civil court for such a declaration, he said.
Rosmah is charged with soliciting RM187.5 million from contractor Saidi Abang Samsudin in connection with the Sarawak schools’ solar power project as well as receiving RM6.5 million in cash from him.
It is alleged that the money was meant to help Saidi’s company, Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, secure the RM1.25 billion project.
Lawyer Akberdin Abdul Kader, who appeared with Jagjit Singh, said he had instructions from Rosmah to file an appeal in the Federal Court.