Ex-Malaysian PM’s wife pleads not guilty in money laundering

Kuala Lumpur: Rosmah Mansor, wife of scandal-tainted former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, pleaded not guilty to 17 charges of laundering and tax evasion worth 7 million Malaysian ringgits (RM) on Thursday.

Rosmah, who was arrested on Wednesday, was charged under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds from Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA) at Kuala Lumpur’s Sessions Court 9 for allegedly receiving RM7,097,750 in funds obtained from money laundering activities, The Strait Times reported.

The bail was fixed at RM2 million, out of which RM500,000 should be paid today and the remaining amount before October 11. The case will be next heard on November 8.

This is the first time in the history of Malaysia that the First Lady of the country has been charged for corruption. Earlier on the one hand, the prosecution had proposed a bail amount of RM10 million. On the other hand, the defence team had suggested a lower bail of RM250,000.

Najib is facing 32 charges that pertain to criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power. These include charges related to RM42 million allegedly paid by SRC International into his bank accounts. The SRC International is a former subsidiary of state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The development fund, which was started in 2009, after Najib assumed office, is being investigated by several countries for alleged misappropriation of billions of dollars.