Faces of the News: Rosmah Mansor
Accountability knocked rudely on the door of former Malaysian first lady Rosmah Mansor, as witnesses in her corruption trial bared that she had meddled in government projects despite having no official position except being married to former Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The 67-year-old socialite faces three charges of soliciting and receiving bribes totaling 194 million ringgit ($45.93 million) to help a company secure a solar power project.
Of that amount, she was accused of arranging for 187 million ringgit to be given as political donation to Najib, while she herself received two bribes totalling 6.5 million ringgit.
The Razak couple’s lavish lifestyle was said to reflect the perceived rot among Malaysia’s ruling elite, with Rosmah hoarding luxury handbags worth up to US$273 million (S$377 million).
The couple described the graft charges as politically motivated.
If convicted, Rosmah faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine about five times that she had received as bribes.