Today’s hearing of the prosecution’s application to merge the corruption and money laundering charges facing Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (picture) with the corruption case involving Datuk Rizal Mansor, a former special officer to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, for a joint trial has been postponed.
It was postponed after former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who has been appointed senior deputy public prosecutor and leading the prosecuting team, told the court that the application could not be made as the status of the application to transfer Rosmah’s corruption case from the Sessions Court to the High Court was still pending.
“There is an application from the prosecution to transfer Rosmah’s corruption case to the High Court and hearing of the matter has been fixed on March 15.
“Hence, we cannot proceed with the hearing to merge the cases today,” he told judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.
Sri Ram said the prosecution could not apply to merge the three cases until the corruption case involving Rosmah was transferred to the High Court.
There was no objection from Rosmah’s lawyers.
However, lawyer Manjeet Singh Dhillon, informed the court for Sri Ram to produce the certificate on his appointment as senior deputy public prosecutor and that the defence would submit an application on the matter soon.
Judge Mohamed Zaini fixed March 21 for case management to hear the applications to merge the three cases and also for Sir Ram’s appointment certificate.
Rosmah, 67, was in court today and was accompanied by Najib and their son, Mohd Ashman.
On Oct 4 last year, Rosmah pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here Wednesday 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 Dec 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 which 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.
On Nov 15 last year, Rosmah pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court to two counts of soliciting RM187.5 million and receiving RM1.5 million for the project to provide electricity to schools in 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
She was charged under Section 16(a) (A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act (MACC), and faces imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the gratification of RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
Rizal, 45, also pleaded not guilty to four counts of corruption involving the same project.