Malaysia ex-PM’s wife faces marathon grilling in graft probe
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The luxury-loving wife of Malaysia’s former prime minister Wednesday faced a marathon questioning session by investigators probing the multi-billion-dollar scandal that helped topple her husband’s government.
Rosmah Mansor, widely reviled in Malaysia due to her profligate spending and imperious manner, arrived at the anti-corruption agency before 10:00 a.m. (0200 GMT) and had still not emerged nine hours later.
Local media have reported that officials are wrapping up their probe into Rosmah and her links to the alleged plundering of state fund 1MDB, and she could be charged soon.
It was the second time the 66-year-old has been questioned by the graft-fighting body since her husband Najib Razak’s coalition was unexpectedly ousted from office at elections in May after six decades in power.
A major factor in the loss were allegations that Najib, his family and his cronies looted billion of dollars from 1MDB in an audacious fraud that stretched from Singapore to Switzerland.
Najib was last week hit with a barrage of money-laundering and abuse of power charges over the scandal. It is alleged that hundreds of millions of dollars ended up in his personal bank accounts. He denies any wrongdoing.
Rosmah’s love of costly overseas shopping trips, designer handbags and jewelry made her a lightning rod for public anger, and fueled suspicions that she benefited from the plundering of 1MDB.
After the election loss, a stash of cash, jewelry and hundreds of designer handbags worth as much as $273 million was seized from properties linked to Najib in raids around Kuala Lumpur.
Rosmah is often compared to Imelda Marcos, who left behind more than a thousand pairs of shoes after her husband, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, was ousted in 1986.
Najib’s fall from grace has been swift since he lost power to a reformist alliance led by Mahathir Mohamad, 93, who is in his second stint as premier. /ee