KUALA LUMPUR: The case against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is facing 17 counts of money laundering and failing to declare income of more than RM7mil for tax purposes, has been transferred to the High Court.
Rosmah, 67, maintained her innocence to all the charges when they were read out by a court interpreter. When asked for her plea, she claimed trial.
The case came up for mention for the first time in the High Court before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan yesterday. 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.
This shocked Rosmah and those present, prompting the interpreter to quickly apologise to the court.
Earlier, former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who has been appointed senior deputy public prosecutor and to lead the prosecution team, 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 faced by Rosmah.
That case involved two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM1.5mil over the solar energy project at 369 rural schools in Sarawak two years ago.
Sri Ram also informed the court that the prosecution would submit all the documents on the case to the defence next month.
The court set Jan 25 for mention.
Also present in the court were Rosmah’s husband, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and son Mohd Ashman.
On Oct 4, Rosmah pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here to 12 counts of money laundering involving RM7,097,750, and five counts of failing to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board.
The offences were allegedly committed at the Affin Bank in Jalan Ampang here between Dec 4, 2013, and June 8, 2017, and the Inland Revenue Board in 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 and punishable under Section 4(1) of the same law.
If found guilty, Rosmah faces 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 RM5mil, whichever is higher.
The charges for tax evasion were made under Section 77(1) of the Income Tax Act that 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