PETALING JAYA: Two ongoing 1MDB-related trials and Rosmah Mansor’s corruption appeal will now be conducted by full-time deputy public prosecutors (DPPs) under the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).
Attorney-General (AG) Idrus Harun said this in response to speculation that a private lawyer will be employed to replace former Federal Court judge and ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram who died yesterday.
“I have full confidence in the prosecution teams,” he told FMT in a text message.
Sri Ram had been working together with DPPs from the AGC in the three cases.
He was appointed in August 2018 by then AG Tommy Thomas to prosecute the 1MDB-linked cases as well as the corruption case brought against Rosmah.
Najib is standing trial for 25 counts of money laundering and abuse of power over the alleged misuse of 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion deposited into his AmBank accounts.
The case, which started in 2019, is still at the prosecution stage.
Sri Ram was also lead prosecutor in the 1MDB audit tampering case involving Najib and former 1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy.
Judge Zaini Mazlan will deliver a ruling on March 3 as to whether the former prime minister and Arul should enter their defence or be acquitted.
On Sept 1 last year, Rosmah was found guilty on all three counts of corruption in connection with the RM1.25 billion project to provide solar hybrid energy to 369 schools in rural Sarawak.
The Court of Appeal will hear Rosmah’s appeal to recuse Zaini as the trial judge and to set aside her conviction and sentence from July 11 to 14.
Sri Ram was also entrusted to prosecute Rosmah who is facing 12 money laundering charges involving RM7.09 million and five charges of failing to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).
On Dec 1, Zaini fixed a 15-day trial on a staggered basis between May 12 and Sept 8 this year.
However, the case is likely to be reassigned following Zaini’s elevation to the Court of Appeal on Jan 17.