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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Rosmah's money laundering, tax evasion trial to start after her graft case ends


Rosmah Mansor's money laundering and tax evasion trial involving RM7,097,750 will begin after the completion of her ongoing corruption case involving the solar hybrid project for rural schools in Sarawak.

High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, who is presiding over both trials, set Dec 2 for case management on the former after deputy public prosecutor Poh Yih Tinn informed the court that the prosecution in Rosmah's corruption trial is expected to complete their case latest by early November.

Lawyer Geethan Ram Vincent, representing the wife of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, had earlier proposed for case management date to be fixed pending the completion of the solar hybrid trial.

"I'm proposing we come back before your lordship in December to allow time for submissions and decisions (on the solar hybrid trial)," he said when the matter came up for case management today.

Rosmah, 69, was exempted from attending the proceedings.

The corruption trial is due to continue next Monday with two more prosecution witnesses expected to testify.

Asked by judge Mohamed Zaini whether the prosecution will be able to conclude the corruption trial by next week, Poh answered that they are confident of doing so or at the latest by early November as they are at the tail end of the case.

"Alright, we fix Dec 2 for case management," said the judge.

Previously, the court had vacated the hearing of Rosmah's case for money laundering and tax evasion, which was earlier fixed to begin in May, to give priority to the solar hybrid trial.

On Oct 4, 2018, Rosmah had pleaded not guilty in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to 12 counts of money laundering, involving RM7,097,750, and five counts for failing to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board.

The offences were allegedly committed at Affin Bank Berhad, Bangunan Getah Asli branch, ground Floor, 148 Jalan Ampang here between Dec 4, 2013, and June 8, 2017, and the Inland Revenue Board, Kompleks Bangunan Kerajaan, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim here between May 1, 2014, and May 1, 2018.

The charges on money laundering were framed under Section 4(1) (a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 and punishable under Section 4(1) of the same law, which provides for imprisonment up to 15 years and fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the proceeds of unlawful activity or RM5 million, whichever is higher, if found guilty.

The charges for tax evasion made under Section 77(1) of the Income Tax Act 1967 required her to furnish returns of her income for the assessment year 2013 to 2017 to the IRB director-general on or before April 30, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 without reasonable excuse contrary to Section 112 of the law.


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