KUALA LUMPUR (MALAYSIA) – Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Prime Minister Najib Razak, was ordered by a Malaysian court to enter a defence in a corruption trial linked to a multi-million dollar project approved while the ex-premier was still in power.
After Najib lost the 2018 election dozens of graft charges were filed against the couple. Police raids revealed Rosmah owned millions of dollars worth of jewellery and luxury handbags.
The Kuala Lumpur high court ruled that the prosecution had proved sufficient grounds for the case to proceed.
“This is my finding that the prosecution has produced credible evidence to prove every element of the offence… I now call upon the accused to enter a defence,” judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said in his ruling.
Her lawyer, Jagjit Singh, said after the hearing the defence would be “hampered to a certain extent” because the judge did not explain the factors behind his decision.
“We had to comfort her a little bit. We just told her to go back to her house and remove all the stress that has gone through here,” Jagjit told reporters.
Rosmah faces three charges of soliciting and receiving bribes involving a sum of 194 million ringgit to help a company, Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, secure a solar power project.
Of that total, prosecutors accuse Rosmah of arranging for 187 million ringgit to be paid as a political donation to Najib, while also receiving two bribes of 6.5 million ringgit.
If found guilty, she could be jailed for up to 20 years and fined at least five times the sum specified in the charges.
The couple have denied any wrongdoing, saying the charges are politically motivated.
Rosmah’s case will resume on June 9.