KUALA LUMPUR: Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, was found guilty of corruption on Thursday (Sep 1).
Rosmah, 70, was charged with soliciting RM187.5 million (US$41.9 million) in bribes from contractor Saidi Abang Samsudin in 2016 and 2017 so that his company Jepak Holdings could secure a RM1.25 billion government project to supply solar energy to 369 rural schools in Sarawak state.
She was also accused of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Saidi at the prime minister’s official residence and then later at her private residence in Kuala Lumpur between December 2016 and September 2017.
In delivering the judgment, High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said on Thursday: “The prosecution has succeeded in proving its case beyond reasonable doubt. The accused has been found guilty of all three charges.”
The court case started in February 2020 and ended on Feb 23 this year, after 42 days of trial. The proceedings were affected by delays, including over Rosmah’s health issues and a witness being placed on home surveillance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
FAILED BID TO RECUSE HIGH COURT JUDGE
On Tuesday, Rosmah filed an application at the High Court, seeking the removal of Judge Mohamed Zaini who heard her corruption trial.
According to Malaysian media reports, Rosmah contended that she has lost faith in the judge’s ability to hear her corruption case following the recent alleged leak of a judgment that purportedly pronounced her guilty in the matter.
Rosmah claimed to have read an article by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin on how she will be pronounced guilty on Sep 1.
She said she was shocked to read the article, which stated that the judgment against her was ready. The article also wrote that the judgment was not prepared by the judge himself but rather prepared on his behalf.
Her application was dismissed on Thursday. Judge Mohamed Zaini stated that he has always written his own court judgments.
“Anyone can form opinions but the only opinions that matters at the end of the day is mine,” he said, adding that judges were not there to make popular decisions.