KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Just two days short of tax evasion and money laundering trial is set to commence at the High Court, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor has today filed an application to stay proceedings.
According to court documents sighted by Malay Mail, Rosmah stressed that it was most crucial for the High Court to stay her tax evasion and money laundering trial until the disposal of her ongoing appeal hearing at the Court of Appeal scheduled two months from now.
Rosmah was referring to the notice of appeal she had filed over High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan’s decision last month not to recuse himself from presiding in her second trial involving her money-laundering and tax evasion charges.
Rosmah’s second trial is scheduled to begin on January 12. The appellate court is scheduled to hear Zaini’s non-recusal ruling on March 23.
Citing infringement to her basic rights and freedom as enshrined under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution, Rosmah also provided several reasons as to why the stay application should be heard and her trial postponed.
“If the Court of Appeal does decide on the matter with me that Yang Arif Zaini is unsuitable to preside over the case, then the aforementioned trial will be nullified.
“It is also important for this honourable court to know that if the aforementioned trial proceeds, it will be in violation of my basic rights and cause irreparable harm if the trial is struck out in the future.
“If the stay application is dismissed, then my appeal against the High Court’s decision will be nullified.
“It is not my intention to ‘judge shopping’ but to obtain due justice in the matter,” she said.
Rosmah added that it was the basis of criminal law that she be treated “innocent until proven guilty”, further noting she had the right to defend herself entirely in the matter and be tried in accordance with the law.
Rosmah’s lawyer Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent confirmed the matter when contacted, adding that the stay application has been fixed for hearing on January 12.
Rosmah had previously argued that Zaini’s decision in her tax evasion and money laundering trial could be swayed directly or indirectly by statements and exhibits tendered in the solar project trial.
Her lawyer had pointed out that Zaini had allowed certain excerpts of Rosmah’s statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to be used by the prosecution to impeach her or to challenge her credibility as a witness over alleged contradiction of evidence.
Following which an application for recusal was made on the possibility that Zaini would be “exposed” to the facts of the case before its official hearing, which could create “bias” towards in the tax evasion and money laundering trial.
Previously in the solar project trial, the prosecution had sought to cross-examine Rosmah over her alleged contradictory statement that she had made to the MACC in relation to her money-laundering investigation.
The prosecution had intended to challenge Rosmah’s credibility by using the aforementioned statement that she had given to the MACC which allegedly contradicts the statement that she had made in court during her corruption trial.
On October 21, Zaini had ruled that Rosmah’s statement to the MACC was admissible as evidence and can be used by the prosecution to impeach the accused.
In this trial for her money laundering and tax evasion charges, the hearing before Zaini is due to take place on January 12, 23, 24, 25 and 26.