Saturday, July 31, 2021

Rosmah’s trial for money laundering, tax evasion to start in November

Her trial will begin after the High Court has heard her defence on the corruption case in relation to a solar hybrid project for rural schools in Sarawak.

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Rosmah Mansor’s trial for money laundering and tax evasion involving RM7,097,750 will begin after the High Court has heard her defence on the corruption case in relation to a solar hybrid project for rural schools in Sarawak.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan has set 17 days beginning Nov 15 to hear Rosmah’s money laundering and tax evasion case.

Deputy public prosecutor Poh Yih Tinn said Zaini fixed the dates during case management today.

“The court has set the trial on Nov 15 to 17; Nov 29 and 30; Dec 1 and 2 and Dec 13 and 14. It will continue in 2022 on Jan 10 to 13 as well as Jan 24 to 27.

“Case management is fixed on Sept 9 this year and the prosecution will be calling in around 15 witnesses to testify,” he told Bernama today.

Lawyer Geethan Ram Vincent, representing Rosmah, the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak, also confirmed the trial dates.

“The prosecution has also informed the court that they will not be applying to transfer the case to a different court,” he said in a text message today.

On Dec 18 last year, Zaini had suggested that the trial be transferred to another judge to enable it to be heard earlier, or for the trial to be maintained at his court.

Rosmah’s money laundering and tax evasion case was initially fixed to begin in May 2020 but was vacated due to her ongoing corruption case involving the solar hybrid project for rural schools in Sarawak.

On Feb 18 this year, Zaini ordered Rosmah, 69, to enter her defence on all three corruption charges. The court fixed nine days, on June 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22 and 23 and July 12 and 15, to hear evidence from Rosmah and other defence witnesses.

Rosmah is facing 12 money laundering charges involving RM7,097,750 and five counts of failing to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).

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

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

The charges for tax evasion, made under Section 77(1) of the Income Tax Act 1967, said Rosmah had failed to furnish the returns of her income for the assessment years 2013 to 2017 to the LHDN 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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