KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution acted within the parameters of the law to bring charges against Rosmah Mansor, a member of the prosecution team has said.
Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Poh Yih Tinn asserted this in an affidavit filed in response to an application by the former prime minister’s wife to strike out 17 charges brought against her in the High Court here for violating anti-money laundering and tax laws.
Poh said the tax evasion charges also did not amount to usurpation by the court of the powers given to the special commissioners of income tax, as alleged by Rosmah.
“Her (Rosmah’s) assertion is misconceived because the court will try the case under its criminal jurisdiction and according to laws relating to criminal procedure,” the DPP said in his affidavit in reply.
A copy of the prosecution’s affidavit was filed in the High Court and served on Rosmah’s lawyers today.
Poh also said the question as to whether the subject matter of the charges was “chargeable income” must be resolved by reference to Section 4 of the Income Tax Act (ITA) 1967.
It is not dependent on any prior order of, or assessment by, the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN), he added.
“As such, the averments in her (Rosmah’s) affidavit have no basis,” Poh said.
He said there is no provision to prevent the prosecution of an offence under Section 77 (1) of the ITA pending the resolution of Rosmah’s tax dispute by the special commissioners or under the Act.
He said the reasons given by Rosmah to justify her application did not reflect the correct legal position.
Rosmah, 71, said the charges were defective and that she should be acquitted and discharged.
In an affidavit in support of the application filed on Sept 6, Rosmah said she had been advised by her lawyers that the charges against her were baseless, defective and did not disclose any offence.
She was charged with the offences on Oct 4, 2018.
The trial began on Aug 24 before Justice K Muniandy.
Rosmah said she was charged on an allegation that she had not filed her income tax returns as required under the ITA and, as such, had committed offences under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amla).
Rosmah added that the special commissioners of income tax must first determine the amount of tax she should pay LHDN.
She said she had the constitutional right to be treated equally and to submit appeals to the special commissioners on any tax assessment made by LHDN.
Rosmah is standing trial on 12 money laundering charges involving RM7.09 million and five charges of failure to declare her income to LHDN.
She is accused of committing the offences between Dec 4, 2013 and June 8, 2017.
Muniandy will hear oral submissions by the parties on Dec 13.