Malaysia’s former first lady Rosmah appears in court for corruption trial, verdict to be announced soon
Rosmah, 70, pleaded not guilty to three of the charges against her for soliciting and recovering bribes to help a company secure a $279 million solar power project from the government when her spouse was in power
Just days after her husband was sentenced to prison for corruption, Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak, appeared in court on Thursday to hear the verdict on the accusation against her of soliciting bribes in exchange for government contracts.
On the other hand, her husband Najib started serving a 12-year prison sentence last week in a multibillion-dollar fraud scandal (1MBD).
After Najib’s administration was ousted in 2018, he and his wife, who faced criticism for her extravagant lifestyle, were at the centre of anti-corruption campaigns.
Rosmah, 70, pleaded not guilty to three of the charges against her for soliciting and recovering bribes to help a company secure a $279 million solar power project from the government when her spouse was in power. The charges against the first lady carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a fine equal to five times the amount of the bribe, Reuters reported.
As per the prosecution, Rosmah received a bribe of 187.5 million ringgit and was given another 6.5 million ringgit by a business representative. However, in response to this, the latter said that various government officials, including her former assistant, are trying to set her up.
In a separate case, the first lady is also charged with 17 money laundering and tax evasion cases for receiving 7.1 million ringgits.
The former prime minister also remains on trial for four other corruption-related trials.
In the 1MBD scandal, the US department alleges that $4.5 billion was stolen, nearly $1 billion of which was sent to Najib’s personal bank accounts. The department further stated that some of the stolen funds from 1MBD were used to buy jewellery, including a $27 million pink diamond.
Rosmah is pursuing her request for the presiding judge to oversee the case. The trial has not yet started.
(With inputs from agencies)