KUALA LUMPUR: There was more drama in court today when Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor refused to leave the dock when her corruption trial was adjourned for lunch break.
The former prime minister’s wife adamantly remained seated and was heard telling her aides that she would not budge and did not want to leave for lunch.
Her lawyers were then seen talking to her but Rosmah refused to get up even as the court was being cleared.
The courtrooms are normally vacated and locked during the lunch break.
Rosmah’s trial has seen High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan giving extra leeway to the defence with proceedings halted by 2pm everyday since the case started.
This was because Rosmah’s lawyers had applied for their client to be let off early due to various reasons, including pleas that she was in pain and needed to rest.
Zaini made it clear yesterday that he did not want this to become the norm and stressed that the trial must go on as per normal hours today.
This, however, never materialised after what happened today.
Her lawyers then asked for a brief session with Zaini in open court and Rosmah’s lead counsel Datuk Jagjit Singh briefed the judge on his client’s condition.
It is learnt the judge was informed that Rosmah was unwell and could not continue with the afternoon session.
Zaini eventually allowed for the afternoon session to be vacated.
Rosmah is on trial for soliciting RM187.5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd to secure a solar hybrid energy contract worth RM1.25 billion.
She is accused of receiving RM5 million and another RM1.5 million in 2016 and 2017 respectively to ensure the company gt the contract to supply solar hybrid energy to 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
Earlier today, fifth prosecution witness Datuk Mahdzir Khalid continued to come under the hammer during cross examination by Jagjit.
Mahdzir was grilled on his role in ensuring compliance of procedures in the award of the contract to Jepak.
The former Education Minister insisted that while rules and procedures needed to be followed, the project was still awarded to a company which he had little confidence in.
Mahdzir, however, said he never raised the issue with anyone, including bringing it up in Cabinet as there was no need to do so.
Moreover, he said then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had made a notation on a letter for the ministry to speed up issuance of a letter of award to the company.
The trial continues.