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Former PM's wife Rosmah tells Malaysian court she is not used to being shouted at

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak's wife, who was testifying on Thursday (Dec 23) in her corruption trial involving a solar hybrid project in Sarawak, complained to the judge that she was not used to being shouted at.

This came after Rosmah Mansor had an exchange of words with lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram about a now infamous voice recording of a supposed conversation she had with her husband.

In the recording, a voice that sounded like hers could be heard chiding another person who sounded like her husband.

The prosecution said in February last year that Rosmah, despite not holding any official position, ensured her influence in the Najib administration with her "overbearing nature".

"Yang Arif, he (Sri Ram) shouted at me. I am not used to people shouting at me," she responded to Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan who had asked Rosmah to listen to the questions posed to her.

There were tense moments in the court in the line of questioning pertaining to the audio clip as Rosmah denied knowledge of the voices heard in the audio.

The recording, known as the "Can I advise you something" clip, was played in court briefly when the prosecution wanted Rosmah to identify the voices in the recording.

"No, I cannot confirm because there is no scientific investigation done on that (clip)," she said when asked to confirm the voices.

Mr Sri Ram said several witnesses, including former education minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Rosmah's former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor, had testified in court that those were the voices of Rosmah and Najib.

"And you're supposed to believe them?" Rosmah shot back.

This caused Mr Sri Ram to stop his questioning, saying "if you're going to quarrel with me", he would ask the court to give an order for her to answer his questions.

Rosmah then said she was not quarrelling with the prosecutor and that she would answer his questions.

It was at this point that Justice Mohamed Zaini, who presided over the case, suggested to Rosmah to listen to the questions, which led to Rosmah saying that she was unaccustomed to having people shouting at her.

Earlier, she had brushed off the recording when asked if the audio content was true.

"No, utterly rubbish," she said.

On Jan 8, 2020, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) released a series of nine audio recordings of high-ranking officials, including Najib, alleging a "criminal conspiracy at the highest level".

The MACC alleged that another recording was of Rosmah and Najib, in which Rosmah was heard expressing her displeasure over a certain matter related to MACC investigations.

Mr Sri Ram: Is that your voice?

Rosmah: I don't know.

Mr Sri Ram: I put it to you that that is your voice.

Rosmah: I disagree.

Mr Sri Ram: In that conversation, you made references to the appointment of persons in public office. Do you agree or disagree?

Rosmah: I don't agree.

Mr Sri Ram continued with the cross-examination and asked if Rosmah had heard the evidence of other witnesses in court that identified the voices, to which she said yes.

He suggested that the accused could have instructed her lawyers to challenge the evidence by those witnesses who said the voices were hers and Najib's.

Mr Sri Ram: But you didn't because you knew that was your voice.

Rosmah: I disagree.

The prosecutor also suggested to Rosmah that she was merely distancing herself from the audio clips because the clip clearly showed her asking her husband to make a public appointment.

She disagreed with the suggestion.

Rosmah is on trial on a charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings' former managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin involving the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project in Sarawak.

The hearing continues before Justice Mohamed Zaini on Friday.

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