KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution will file a preliminary objection against Rosmah Mansor’s bid to disqualify Gopal Sri Ram from prosecuting her money laundering and tax evasion case.
Sri Ram told trial judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan today the prosecution would file a formal objection and serve the court papers to the defence.
He said Rosmah had filed a criminal motion but wanted an order that his appointment as ad hoc prosecutor was illegal and must be quashed.
“The order sought could only be given by way of a judicial review. Labels do not matter as they are asking that my appointment (as senior DPP) is illegal and must be quashed,” he said.
He said that as such, “this criminal High Court has no jurisdiction to provide the relief asked”.
“Therefore, it is an abuse of the process by the applicant (Rosmah),” he said.
The wife of former prime minister Najib Razak filed the application to disqualify Sri Ram on Jan 31.
However, the disqualification hearing could not be held as the prosecution asked for time to reply to Rosmah’s application.
Zaini has now fixed Feb 17 to hear the preliminary objection and disqualification application.
The court will also hear Rosmah’s second application to recuse Zaini and stay the trial pending the outcome of her application in the Court of Appeal to disqualify the judge.
On Dec 14, Zaini dismissed Rosmah’s application to disqualify him from hearing the money laundering and tax evasion case.
Zaini said that as a judge, he had been trained in law to remain impartial after reading Rosmah’s cautioned statement in the present case when presiding over her ongoing corruption trial linked to the RM1.25 billion Sarawak rural schools’ solar hybrid energy project.
Rosmah is facing 12 money laundering charges involving RM7,097,750 and five counts of failure to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).
She is accused of committing the offences between Dec 4, 2013 and June 8, 2017.