Rosmah maintains not guilty plea to money laundering, tax evasion charges

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor arrives at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur December 19, 2018. ―  Bernama pic
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor arrives at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur December 19, 2018. ― Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 — Former prime minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is facing 17 counts of money laundering and failing to declare her income, involving more than RM7 million, to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), maintained her not guilty plea to all the charges in the High Court here today.

Rosmah, 67, who was in pink baju kurung and a matching shawl, nodded to all the charges that were read out by the court interpreter, and when asked for her plea, claimed trial to all the charges.

The case came up for mention for the first time in the High Court before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan today, after it was transferred from the Sessions Court.

At one juncture, after reading out the 14th charge, the interpreter mistakenly informed the court that Rosmah pleaded guilty, giving Rosmah and those present a shock, but the interpreter was quick to realise the mistake and apologised to the court, informing the court that the accused claimed trial.

Earlier, former federal court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who has been appointed senior deputy public prosecutor and leading the prosecution team in the case, requested a new mention date for further case management.

He said that on the date to be given by the court, the prosecution would make an oral application for the case to be tried together with another case facing Rosmah, where she is faced with two counts of receiving bribes totalling  RM1.5 million in the implementation of a project to supply and instal solar energy at 369 rural schools in Sarawak two years ago.

He also informed the court that the prosecution would submit all the documents on the case to the defence next month.

The court set January 25 next year for mention.

Also present in the court were former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and son, Mohd Ashman.

On October 4 this year, Rosmah pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here today 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 December 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 an imprisonment for 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 were 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. — Bernama

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