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Income Tax Act doesn't prohibit prosecution against Rosmah, says prosecutor

Poh Yih Tinn says Rosmah Mansor's assertion in her affidavit to strike out her money laundering and tax evasion charges is baseless.

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Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak. Photo: Bernama
Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak. Photo: Bernama

The Kuala Lumpur High Court was told today that there was no provision in the Income Tax Act 1967 that prevented Rosmah Mansor from being prosecuted on charges of money laundering and failing to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

Deputy public prosecutor Poh Yih Tinn said the claim by Rosmah that the court had taken over the functions of the Special Commissioners of Income Tax was baseless.

This is because the court will judge all the charges made against her according to the criminal jurisdiction provided in the law, he added.

He said this in an affidavit-in-reply, which was filed today in response to Rosmah's application to strike out the 12 money laundering charges involving RM7,097,750 and five counts of failing to declare her income to the LHDN facing her.

"There is no provision under the framework of the Income Tax Act 1967 that prevents or prohibits the prosecution of non-compliance under Section 77(1) of the same law unless and until the applicant's (Rosmah) dispute regarding the issue of taxable income is decided by SCIT," he added.

Poh also denied claims by Rosmah that the 17 charges made against her were baseless, defective, premature, inconclusive, and did not disclose any offence in law.

"The reasons given by the applicant do not reflect the correct legal position. "The issue of whether the description of the subject of the 13th to 17th charge amounts to the type of income that can be taxed (chargeable income) is a question that is decided according to Section 4 of the same law and does not depend on the existence of any order, instruction, request, or assessment by the IRB," he said.

Rosmah, 71, who is the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak, filed the notice of motion to be acquitted and discharged of all 17 charges against her on Oct 4, 2020.

She allegedly committed the offences at Affin Bank Berhad, Bangunan Getah Asli Branch, Jalan Ampang in Kuala Lumpur between Dec 4, 2013 and June 8, 2017 and at LHDN, Kompleks Bangunan Kerajaan, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim in Kuala Lumpur from May 1, 2014, until May 1, 2018.

The trial of the case started on Aug 24, and two witnesses testified.