Najib's wife Rosmah files application to disqualify judge as verdict for corruption trial looms
KUALA LUMPUR: Wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, Rosmah Mansor has filed an application at the High Court, seeking the removal of the judge who heard her corruption case.
Rosmah’s lawyer Akberdin Abdul Kader told Malaysian media that the application was filed at the High Court on Tuesday afternoon (Aug 30).
Rosmah is facing three charges of soliciting and receiving bribes totalling RM194 million (US$43 million), linked to a RM1.25 billion solar energy project for schools in Sarawak.
The judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan who has been presiding over the trial since February 2020 is set to deliver his verdict on Thursday.
He is scheduled to deliver his decision at the end of the defence's case on Thursday morning.
Malaysiakini reported that in her application filed at the High Court, Rosmah contended that she has lost faith in the judge's ability to hear her corruption case following the recent alleged leak of a judgment that purportedly pronounced her guilty in the matter.
Rosmah claimed to have read an article by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin on how she will be pronounced guilty on Sep 1.
She said she was shocked to read the article, which stated that the judgment against her was ready. The article also wrote that the judgment was not prepared by the judge himself but rather prepared on his behalf.
Bernama reported that in her application, Rosmah is seeking an order for a stay of the judgement to be made at the end of the solar project case, which has been set for Thursday, or any date after that, until the disposal of her notice of motion or the investigation into the matter has been completed.
She also seeks an order that with the recusal of the judge, the solar case should be heard, retried or decided by another High Court judge.
SECOND BID TO RECUSE PROSECUTOR
On Tuesday, another High Court judge dismissed Rosmah’s judicial review leave application to remove former federal court judge Gopal Sri Ram from the prosecution team involved in her corruption trial.
According to media reports, judge Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid agreed with the prosecution’s objection against granting the leave application, as it was filed out of time.
He said that under the rules, the application should have been filed within three months after Rosmah was first charged at the criminal court on Nov 15, 2018. However, she only filed the civil action on Jun 24 this year.
Malaysian media reported that Rosmah filed a similar application last year in the High Court of criminal jurisdiction. However, her bid was dismissed and her appeals were also rejected by the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.
Rosmah’s husband, Najib Razak, who lost his final appeal at the Federal Court last week, is currently serving a sentence of 12-year’s jail.
The apex court had upheld the verdict against Najib, who was found guilty of seven charges of corruption, money laundering and abuse of power involving RM42 million belonging to SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).