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Ex-Malaysian first lady ordered to serve 10 years for graft

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Former Malaysian first lady Rosmah Mansor was ordered to serve 10 years in prison after being found guilty on Thursday of soliciting and receiving bribes during her husband’s corruption-tainted administration, a week after he was imprisoned over the massive looting of the 1MDB state fund.

Rosmah Mansor, center, wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, arrives at Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. Photo: AP

Rosmah was convicted on a charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two charges of receiving RM6.5 million between 2016 and 2017 to help a company secure a project to provide solar energy panels to schools on Borneo island.

The court sentenced her to 10 years in prison on each charge, to be served concurrently, and a total fine of RM970 million. She will be allowed to remain free on bail pending her appeal to higher courts.

High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said prosecutors proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Rosmah corruptly solicited bribes and received money 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, saying she was saddened and felt she wasn’t given justice. She said she had never solicited any funds or taken a single cent while she was heading charity foundations during her time as the prime minister’s wife.

She also decried as political persecution the events that led to Najib being jailed and 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.”

More details on Friday’s Borneo Bulletin