Court: Speed up Rosmah’s graft trial

KUALA LUMPUR: Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s graft trial involving RM7mil in money laundering and tax evasion must be given priority as it has been four years since she was first charged, says the High Court.

During a case management here yesterday, High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan reminded parties to prioritise the case, which had yet to go on hearing despite the wife of the former prime minister being charged on Oct 4, 2018.

“I am of the view that we should fix trial dates for this case but if the Court of Appeal allows the appeal (filed by Rosmah) to recuse me from hearing the case, this matter will be heard before a different judge,” said Justice Mohamed Zaini.

Rosmah’s lawyer Revin Kumar said he needed to refer to lead counsel Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent for the possible trial dates.

Meanwhile, Deputy Public Prosecutor Poh Yih Tinn told the court that the prosecution would be calling 14 witnesses to testify in the case. It is estimated that the witnesses would complete their testimonies in two weeks.

Justice Mohamed Zaini then fixed Dec 1 for a case mention to set the trial dates.

Rosmah, 70, is facing 12 money laundering charges involving RM7,097,750, as well as five counts of failure to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).

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

Rosmah’s bid to recuse Justice Mohamed Zaini from hearing the case is currently at the Court of Appeal stage.

In her recusal applications, Rosmah, among others, claimed that there was a danger of Justice Mohamed Zaini being prejudiced and biased against her as he had already presided over her solar hybrid graft trial.

On Sept 1, the same judge found Rosmah guilty of three charges of corruption in the solar hybrid project worth RM1.25bil for 369 rural schools in Sarawak, and sentenced her to 10 years in prison and a fine of RM970mil.

Rosmah is out on bail pending her appeal against the conviction and sentence at the Court of Appeal.

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