The wife of controversial former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Rosmah Mansor, who was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday (3 Oct), was charged with 17 counts of money laundering involving the sum of around RM7mil at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today (4 Oct).
She was charged under s4(1) Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds from Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA).
Rosmah was also charged with tax evasion.
She pleaded not guilty to the charges slapped against her.
Bail was set at RM2mil. Judge Azura Alwi had ordered RM500,000 of the total bail sum to paid on Thursday, and for the balance to be paid before or by Oct 11.
Earlier on, the prosecution had requested a bail of RM10 million, and with the condition that Rosmah surrenders her passport, on top of not being allowed to meet any of the prosecution's witnesses, as Gopal Sri Ram -- who leads the prosecution team -- said to the court that Rosmah had "approached a witness with a request to make a statement in her favour".
Rosmah's lawyers, on the contrary, argued for a far lower bail of RM250,000, as Rosmah is required to surrender her passport.
According to her lawyer Geethan Ram Vincent: "The purpose of bail is to secure attendance and should not be punitive."
"She is wife to former prime minister. She has been called by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission three times (on June 5, Sept 26 and Oct 3), and each time she has never failed to attend and gives her full-cooperation," he said.
The defence team said that Rosmah brought her two passports to court and has agreed to surrender the two passports.
She and her defence team were also ordered by Judge Azura, upon the request of the prosecution team, to prevent themselves from approaching any witnesses or potential witnesses.
Under AMLA, persons found guilty of engaging in money laundering may face up to 15 years of jail and a fine of not less than five times the value of the proceeds of any illegal transfers, or RM5 million, whichever is higher.