Court junks Rosmah’s strikeout bid, says she must declare assets

Ida Lim
On October 4, 2018, Rosmah was charged with and claimed trial to 17 money-laundering charges, with 12 counts involving the alleged illegal deposits totalling almost RM7.1 million. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 ― Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor will have to comply with a notice to declare her assets, the High Court ruled today.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan dismissed the application by the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to strike out the notice that was issued under an anti-money laundering law, which she claimed would her a fair trial, Malaysiakini reported.

The news portal cited Zaini ruling that the prosecution's notice for the asset declaration was not linked to the 17 money-laundering charges against Rosmah.

“This negates the applicant's fear of having to disclose her defence or that the information obtained could be used against her in relation to those charges.

“The applicant's argument that she would be precluded from the right to a fair trial is therefore speculative and unmeritorious,” the judge was quoted saying.

On October 4, 2018, Rosmah was charged with and claimed trial to 17 money-laundering charges, with 12 counts involving the alleged illegal deposits totalling almost RM7.1 million into her Affin Bank account via 235 transactions between December 4, 2013 and June 8, 2017.

The remaining five money-laundering charges concern Rosmah’s alleged failure to declare the same RM7,097,750 amount to the Inland Revenue Board for five tax assessment years from 2013 to 2017 as required under the Income Tax Act.

As for the notice for her to declare her assets, it was issued under Section 49(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities.

Among other things, Section 49(1)(a) requires a suspect to declare his or her assets along with other details such as the estimated value, acquisition date, how it was acquired and income source.

Under Section 49(3), failure to comply with the notice to declare assets is an offence punishable by a maximum RM3 million fine or five-year imprisonment or both.

Rosmah had received the notice to declare her assets last November and the High Court had earlier this month heard her application to strike out the notice.

According to another local paper The Edge, Rosmah's lawyer today verbally asked for a stay on the High Court's decision for her to respond to the asset declaration notice, as she will be appealing the ruling.

The Edge reported that the High Court instructed Rosmah's lawyers to put in a written application for a stay of the court ruling.

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