The former first lady of Malaysi “Rosmah Mansor” has been sentenced to serve 10 years in prison, after she was found guilty on Thursday, September 1, of soliciting and receiving bribes during her husband’s corruption-tainted administration, this follows a week after he was also imprisoned for massive stolen of public funds.
Mrs. Mansor was convicted on multiple charges which includes: Soliciting 187.5 million ringgit ($42 million) and two charges of receiving 6.5 million ringgit ($1.5 million) between the years of 2016 and 2017 to help a company secure a contract to provide solar energy panels to schools on Borneo island.
The court of law sentenced her to 10 years in prison on each charge of the charges she was found guilty, but to serve concurrently, and a total fine of 970 million ringgit ($217 million). The former first lady will be allowed to remain free on bail pending her appeal to a higher courts.
The presiding high court judge “Mohamed Zaini Mazlan” said the prosecutors have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that “Rosmah Mansor” corruptly solicited bribes and received huge funds as a reward for herself. He said her defense was a “bare denial, devoid of credible evidence.”
Earlier, Rosmah made an emotional plea from the dock, as she described her saddened and felt she wasn’t given justice in the trial. She defended herself by saying she had never solicited any funds or taken a single cent while she was heading charity foundations during her tenure as the prime minister’s wife.
However, She also decried as political persecution the events that led to “Najib” being jailed, while her family being made to suffer.
“I do not even know the cost of the project. So I am just telling the truth and nothing else but the truth,” she said. “If that’s your conclusion, I surrender to God.”
The defense lawyer “Jagjit Singh” later told journalists that the amount of the fine slated on Romah was the largest ever in history of Malaysia. He went further and said Rosmah was very shocked and upset the moment she heard of the fine, and that they plan to appeal to higher courts for justice.
According to the law of the land, each charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of five times the bribes solicited and received.
Her sentenced came after her husband “Najib” began a 12-year prison term last Tuesday. Najib 12-year imprisoned came after he loses his final appeal in one of the five graft cases filed against him involving the multibillion-dollar pilfering of 1MDB.
Before the verdict, Judge Zaini also rejected Rosmah’s application to disqualify him after an alleged guilty judgment shared online. Police said the leaked document was work done within the court’s research unit and was not the judgment, but Rosmah’s defense said they lost confidence the judge could be fair.
It’s known that Najib and his wife Rosmah have been hit with several charges of graft and bribe, after the shocking ouster of his United Malays National Organization in the 2018 elections, fueled by public anger over the 1MDB scandal.
Her former aide, who was jointly charged with Rosmah but later testified for the prosecution, told the court that many businesspeople lobbied Rosmah for help to secure government projects.
The court also heard that she spent 100,000 ringgit a month ($22,300) to hire online propagandists to deflect criticism of her lavish lifestyle.
After Najib lost power, police raided family residences and seized hundreds of boxes of luxurious Hermes Birkin handbags, 423 watches, 14 tiaras, and other jewelry plus cash estimated at more than 1.1 billion ringgit ($246 million).
During Rosmah’s trial, 23 prosecution witnesses testified but only two defense witnesses were called, including Rosmah. She told the court she was never involved in government affairs and that her former aide was a corrupt liar who had used her name to solicit bribes and pocketed the money himself.
Furthermore, Rosmah has also been charged of laundering illegal proceeds and tax evasion linked to 1MDB in another trial that’s yet to start.
The 1MDB was a development money which Najib set up after assuming office. Investigators alleged that more than $4.5 billion part of the fund was stolen and laundered by Najib’s associates through layers of bank accounts in the U.S. and other different countries for the purpose of financing Hollywood films and extravagant purchases which includes: hotels, a luxury yacht, artworks, and jewelry.