KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan today reprimanded Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s defence lawyer Datuk Jagjit Singh for failing to ensure his client comply with a court order.
Previously on October 15, Zaini had allowed Rosmah’s application for her passport to be temporarily released to her from October 15 until December 6 to allow her to travel to Singapore, but laid the strict conditions for Rosmah to only leave for Singapore from October 22 and stressing that she must return to Malaysia by November 21.
Rosmah however had failed to return to the country on the said date and had even missed her Court of Appeal hearing to nullify her corruption trial by recusing Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as the ad hoc prosecutor on December 2.
On December 2, The Court of Appeal had then ordered for Rosmah to appear before them on December 6.
Despite the matter being deliberated thoroughly at the Court of Appeal and reported widely in the media, out of fairness, Zaini asked Jagjit to explain why his client had failed to abide by the court order to return to the country on November 21.
Jagjit explained that he took full accountability and pointed to “miscommunication” due to changes in Rosmah’s travel schedule, as the newly-introduced vaccinated travel lane between Malaysia and Singapore allows for quarantine-free travel for those who are fully vaccinated if they had stayed in the country of departure for 14 days straight.
However, Zaini was unimpressed with the explanation and told Jagjit that he should have exercised his duties better.
“This is not the first time you have been in the line of fire for your client.
“I understand the change in government policy but that doesn’t change my order.
“Why I’m mentioning this, is that a court order is sacrosanct, it has to be respected. I would have been minded to grant an extension based on the change of government’s policy but it doesn’t change the fact that a court order must be respected.
“I’m sure you know of this having served for the past 30 years, 40 years? You should have done better,’’ he said.
In this trial, Rosmah is being tried for allegedly soliciting and receiving of millions of ringgit in bribes in relation to a RM1.25 billion project to provide electricity to rural schools in Sarawak is set to resume on December 8.
Her hearing is due to continue on Friday (December 10).