Former Malaysian PM’s wife gets 10-year sentence over corruption

Kuala Lumpur, Sep 1 (EFE) .- The Federal Court of Malaysia sentenced Rosmah Mansor, wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, to 10 years in prison Thursday for accepting bribes, a few days after her husband was imprisoned for corruption.

After a trial that lasted more than four hours, Magistrate Mohamed Zaini Mazlan dismissed the allegations of the 70-year-old Mansor’s defense saying “they lacked credible evidence.”

In addition, she must pay a fine of MYR 970 million ($ 216 million) to compensate the public treasury.

“The Prosecutor’s Office has managed to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt. Therefore, I declare the accused guilty of all three charges,” the judge said briefly when making his decision, according to state news agency Bernama.

Rosmah was accused of three crimes: having requested and received, between 2016 and 2017, bribes whose combined sum amounted to MYR 194 million in exchange for the concession of a solar energy construction project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak state.

The case is part of a vast investigation against corruption in Malaysia, launched after the Razak administration (2009-2018) left power after the historic elections held in 2018.

Last week, Malaysia’s highest court upheld Najib Razak’s 12-year prison sentence for corruption in connection with embezzlement from state fund 1MDB, handed down in July 2020 and upheld by an appeals court in December 2020. 2021.

Rosmah has been criticized for her ostentatious lifestyle and compulsive shopping, and after a 2018 raid on the home she shared with Najib, officers found thousands of luxury items, including 12,000 pieces of jewelry, 423 watches and 576 luxury handbags from Chanel, Prada, Versace and Bijan, among others.

For this reason, she has been compared to Imelda Marcos, the wife of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos and mother of current President Bongbong Marcos, known for the thousands of shoes she left behind when she fled the Philippines in 1986.

Rosmah and Najib are accused of illicitly enriching themselves through bribes and the diversion of millions to their private accounts from the state fund 1MDB.

Malaysian justice found the former ruler guilty of the misappropriation of MYR 42 million from 1MDB when he served as prime minister.

Najib, who after that conviction entered Kajang prison, in the south of Kuala Lumpur, also faces 4 other trials and about 40 charges for alleged corruption. This also affected former Goldman Sachs bankers, accused of accepting bribes and laundering thousands of million dollars from 1MDB, according to a judicial investigation in the United States.

The scandal caused by the 1MDB’s multimillion-dollar corruption scheme, which came to light in 2015 thanks to a journalistic investigation, was one of the main factors that led to Najib and his circle being evicted from power in the 2018 general elections. EFE


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