Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor will be required to make a declaration of her assets after failing to do so following a prosecution notice demanding her to declare the assets she had accumulated from 2009 to 2017.
Bernama reported High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan as saying on Sat (25 May) in his dismissal of Rosmah’s application to strike out the prosecution notice that Section 49(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001 was intended to assist the prosecution in identifying assets belonging to a person suspected of money laundering.
Persons found guilty of non-compliance upon being served the prosecution notice may be subject to a maximum RM3mil (S$984,757) fine, up to five years’ jail or both.
He added that Rosmah will not be deprived of her right to silence and the privilege against self-incrimination during the trial.
“The applicant’s argument that she would be precluded from a right to a fair trial is therefore speculative and unmeritorious,” said the judge.
The Star Online reported Justice Mohamed Zaini as saying: “Revealing one’s assets does not predicate guilt on the part of the person accused of money laundering.”
He added that “the presumption of innocence still applies with the applicant” and that it is the prosecution’s task “to establish guilt at a trial”.
Rosmah pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of money laundering and five counts for failing to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board in Oct last year involving a sum of RM7,097,750 (S$2,329,701).
She was charged under Section 4(1)(a) of the AMLATFPUAA, which brings a jail term 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, if found guilty.
The charges for not declaring income were made under Section 77(1) of the Income Tax Act 1967, which requires her to declare tax returns of her income for the assessment years 2013 to 2017 to the IRB Director-General “without reasonable excuse”, in violation of Section 112 of the Act, Bernama observed.