PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has instructed the prosecution and the defence team to file further submissions in an appeal filed by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who sought to remove High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan from presiding over her RM7mil money laundering and tax evasion case.

A three-judge panel chaired by Justice Hanipah Farikullah said the panel had gone through the written submissions filed by both parties, and it was of the view that there was a preliminary point on the jurisdiction issue that should be dealt with first.

“It is in relation to whether the matter before us is appealable under Section 3 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 (COJA), read together with Section 51 of COJA.

“Both parties have a month to file their further written submissions on that point,” said Justice Hanipah here yesterday.

The two other judges on the panel are Justices Ahmad Nasfy Yasin and Nordin Hassan.

Section 3 of COJA states that the term “decision” means judgment, sentence or order made by the High Court, but does not include any ruling made in the course of a trial or hearing of any cause or matter which does not finally dispose of the rights of the parties.

When met by the press, Deputy Public Prosecutor Poh Yih Tinn said the appeal had been fixed for case management on Dec 23, pending filing of the further submissions.

Rosmah, who was present in court, was represented by lawyers Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent and Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin.

The wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is appealing against two decisions by Justice Mohamed Zaini, who had dismissed Rosmah’s first application on Dec 14, 2021, and her second bid on April 25 this year.

In her recusal applications, Rosmah, among others, claimed that there was a danger of Justice Mohamed Zaini being prejudiced and biased against her if he presided over the money laundering case as he had already presided over her solar hybrid graft trial related to rural schools in Sarawak.

Rosmah, 70, is facing 12 money laundering charges, involving RM7,097,750, and five counts of failure to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).

The offences were allegedly committed at Affin Bank Berhad, Bangunan Getah Asli branch, Jalan Ampang, here, between Dec 4, 2013, and June 8, 2017, and at LHDN at Kompleks Bangunan Kerajaan, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim, here, between May 1, 2014, and May 1, 2018.

The money laundering and tax evasion case is currently set for case management on Nov 29 before Justice Mohamed Zaini.

On Sept 1, the same judge found Rosmah guilty of three charges of corruption related to the solar hybrid project worth RM1.25bil for 369 rural schools in Sarawak, and sentenced her to 10 years in prison and a fine of RM970mil.

Rosmah is currently out on bail pending her appeal against the conviction and sentence at the Court of Appeal.