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Prosecution seeking to dismiss Rosmah’s bid to strike out money laundering, income tax evasion charges

Publish date: Thu, 21 Sep 2023, 05:41 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 21): The prosecution in Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s money laundering and income tax evasion trial wants the High Court to dismiss her application to strike out the 17 charges against her.

The 17 charges against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor are in order, not defective and with basis, the prosecution said in its bid to dismiss her application at the High Court.

The defence’s claim that the charges are not conclusive and did not stipulate any offence is “an error in law”, the prosecution said in an affidavit supporting the dismissal of the application by deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Poh Yih Tinn, dated Thursday.

Poh also denied that the charges against Rosmah represent a violation of her constitutional rights, citing a lack of strong facts behind such reasoning.

On the four charges under the Income Tax Act, the question on whether the funds in Rosmah’s account is considered chargeable income could be determined under Section 4 of the Anti Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activity - with regards to those who commit money laundering offences, Poh said.

“It does not rely on any order, request or assessment of the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN),” the DPP said.

Furthermore, it is wrong to say that issues with regards to chargeable income can only be determined by the Special Commissioner of Income Tax (SCIT), Poh said.

“Besides this, the claim by the defence that the court is taking over the task of the SCIT is made without basis, as the court would have to consider all 17 charges within the meaning of criminal offences, and within the criminal procedure jurisdiction,” Poh added.

“For these reasons, the prosecution has asked the application by the applicant (Rosmah) to strike out the charges be dismissed,” he said.

It was earlier reported this month that Rosmah, wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had applied to strike out her 17 charges by claiming that the charges are baseless, defective, premature and/or did not disclose any legal offence.

Rosmah claimed the charges brought against her were for allegedly failing to file her tax returns; however, there was no instruction from the IRB that suggested the amounts stated under the charges were taxable.

"I truly believe that the charges stated above are defective, premature and inconclusive because there is no order, instruction, request and/or claim that states that the amounts stated in the charges are subject to the payment of tax under Income Tax Act, 1967," she said in her affidavit in support.

High Court judge K Muniandy has fixed Dec 13 to hear her application to strike out the 17 charges.

Rosmah, 71, faces 17 charges, with the first 13 charges related to a money laundering offence under Section 4 of AMLA amounting to RM7.1 million while the 14th to 17th charges concern a failure to declare the said amounts as revenue to the LHDN.

Her money laundering and income tax evasion case, which is her second criminal trial, commenced last month, with the prosecution alleging that she does not have an independent source of income and yet made false statements on the money that was deposited into her account.

Rosmah has already been convicted with three counts of graft by the High Court with regards to the solar hybrid case involving 369 rural schools in Sarawak, and sentenced to 10 years jail, together with a RM970 million fine, which she is appealing.

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