KUALA LUMPUR: Rosmah Mansor has not presented any facts to support her argument that a High Court judge who would be presiding over her RM7 million money laundering trial will be biased, the prosecution said today.
Deputy public prosecutor Poh Yin Tinn said the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak had never raised any complaint about the impartiality or the propriety of judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan over the money laundering trial.
Poh said Rosmah’s lawyers had accepted Zaini as the trial judge for the money laundering case when they attended case management which was held after she was ordered to enter her defence on the corruption case.
“Any findings made by the judge pertaining to the credibility of the applicant (Rosmah) as witness in the Solar (corruption) case or the money laundering case or on any evidentiary matters would be governed by principles of evidentiary evaluation,” said Poh who affirmed an affidavit to rebut the application by Rosmah to recuse Zaini.
In the affidavit sighted by FMT, Poh said Rosmah’s application did not disclose any circumstances showing the existence of a real danger of bias on the part of the judge.
“The application by the accused does not disclose an adequate and arguable basis for recusal.
“Further submissions on the law will be undertaken at the hearing of the application,” Poh said in urging the court to dismiss the application so that the money laundering trial could proceed.
The recusal application will be heard on Dec 14.
Rosmah, 69, who made the application on Nov 2, wants the case to be heard before another High Court judge.
On Feb 18, Zaini had ruled that the prosecution had made out a prima facie case against Rosmah and ordered her to enter her defence in the corruption case, which will resume on Dec 8.
She claimed that statements and exhibits tendered before the court in the corruption case could directly or indirectly influence Zaini if he also presided over the money laundering case.
Rosmah is facing 12 money laundering charges involving RM7,097,750 and five counts of failure to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).
The offences were allegedly committed at Affin Bank Berhad, Bangunan Getah Asli branch, 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.
The charges of 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 is punishable under Section 4(1) of the same law, which provides for imprisonment of up to 15 years and a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the proceeds of unlawful activity, or RM5 million, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
The charges for tax evasion, made under Section 77(1) of the Income Tax Act 1967, said that Rosmah had failed to furnish returns of her income for the assessment years 2013 to 2017 to the LHDN director-general on or before April 30, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 without reasonable excuse, contrary to Section 112 of the law.