Brunei Darussalam
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Rosmah apply to strike out money laundering, tax evasion charges

ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, has filed an application to strike out all 17 money laundering and tax evasion charges that she is currently on trial for.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has set a hearing for December 13 to hear her application.

This comes after the court heard during the case management process yesterday that Rosmah’s counsel Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin submitted the application on Wednesday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Poh Yih Tinn confirmed that the prosecution has received the application and asked for time for the filing of a response and a written submission.

When asked by Justice K Muniandy, defence lawyer Mohamed Reza Rahim also said the defence needed time to submit a reply.

Justice Muniandy then set the new hearing date for the application and said that Rosmah, whose attendance had been dispensed with yesterday, would have to be present in court. He also extended Rosmah’s bail.

Rosmah Mansor said the charges against her are baseless, defective and premature. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES

On August 17, the Court of Appeal allowed Rosmah’s application to temporarily obtain her international passport to be with her daughter in Singapore. Her daughter gave birth later that month.

In her application filed at the High Court to strike out all 17 graft charges, Rosmah, 71, said the charges against her were baseless, defective and premature.

A criminal court is not the suitable forum to determine whether the amount of money she received was taxable under the Income Tax Act, she said in an affidavit.

“If the criminal court proceeds with its findings (on whether the amount of money was taxable), the court will usurp the functions of the Special Commissioners of Income Tax (SCIT), which is an authorised body under a written law.”

She added that she has the substantive right to refer to the SCIT the issue of whether the amounts being contested are subject to the payment of tax.

Rosmah faces 12 money laundering charges involving about MYR7.1 million and five counts of failure to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board.

She allegedly committed the offences at Affin Bank’s Bangunan Getah Asli branch in Jalan Ampang between December 4, 2013, and June 8, 2017, and at LHDN Kompleks Bangunan Kerajaan in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim between May 1, 2014, and May 1, 2018.

On October 4, 2018, she pleaded not guilty to all charges at the Sessions Court.

On September 1, 2022, the High Court convicted Rosmah of three counts of graft relating to the MYR1.25 billion solar hybrid project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak. She was sentenced to 10 years in jail and fined MYR970 million.

Rosmah is out on bail pending her appeal in the case.