KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) - Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak's wife Rosmah Mansor has filed an application to transfer 17 cases lodged against her for money laundering and failing to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) from the sessions court to the High Court.
Lawyer Geethan Ram Vincent, who is representing Rosmah, 67, said this to the media after case management proceedings in chambers before deputy registrar Nur Ain Mustapa.
"Deputy Public Prosecutor Datin Nurshuhaida Zainal Azahar did not object to the application, but they (prosecution) will reply to our affidavit," he said.
Meanwhile, Datuk K. Kumaraendran who is also acting for Rosmah, said the application was filed last week, as the case involved points of law and the High Court was the best place to decide on the issue.
"The application will be heard before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali this coming Thursday," Mr Kumaraendran said, adding that Rosmah was not present during the proceedings.
On Oct 4, Rosmah pleaded not guilty in the sessions court in Kuala Lumpur to 12 counts of money laundering, involving RM7,097,750 (S$2.3 million), and five counts for failing to declare her income to the IRB.
In the first to the eighth charges, Rosmah is alleged to have been involved in money laundering by directly engaging in transactions that involved proceeds of unlawful activities amounting to RM1.1 million, which were deposited into her account at Affin Bank Berhad.
She is alleged to have committed the offences at the Affin Bank Berhad branch located at 148 Jalan Ampang in Kuala Lumpur between Dec 4, 2013, and June 8, 2017.
The charges were made under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 and are punishable under Section 4(1) of the same Act, which provides for a maximum fine of RM5 million or imprisonment for up to five years, or both, if found guilty.
On the ninth to the 12th charges, Rosmah is alleged to have directly engaged in 227 transactions involving proceeds of unlawful activities totalling RM5,997,750, which were deposited into the same bank account.
She was charged under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001. The offence is punishable with imprisonment for up to 15 years and a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the proceeds of unlawful activities or RM5 million, whichever is higher.
Rosmah also pleaded not guilty to five counts of failing to furnish returns of her income to the Director-General of the IRB.
In the 13th to 17th charges, she is alleged to have directly engaged in transactions involving proceeds from unlawful activities and failing to furnish returns on income amounting to the RM7,097,750 that was deposited into her Affin Bank account.
Section 77(1) of the Income Tax Act 1967 requires 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.
She was charged with committing all the offences at the IRB in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim, in Kuala Lumpur, between May 1, 2014, and May 1, 2018.
On the 13th count, Rosmah was charged under Section 4 (1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001, and is punishable under Section 4(1) of the same Act, which provides for a maximum fine of RM5 million or imprisonment for up to five years, or both, if found guilty.
The 14th to 17th charges were made under the same section of the Act, which is punishable with a jail term of up to 15 years and a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the proceeds of unlawful activities or RM5 million, whichever is higher.