Malaysia charges wife of former PM with receiving bribes of $45M


Posted at Nov 15 2018 03:56 PM

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia on Thursday charged Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Prime Minister Najib Razak, with receiving bribes of 189 million ringgit ($45.12 million) from a company pitching for a government project.

Prosecutors who charged Rosmah with 2 counts of corruption said the payments concerned a 1.25-billion-ringgit ($298-million) solar project in schools in Malaysia's eastern state of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo.

She pleaded not guilty to both the charges.

Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, who was for years criticized for her extravagant lifestyle, are at the center of a wide-ranging graft investigation launched after a stunning election victory and return to power as prime minister in May by veteran leader Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib has been charged with 38 counts of graft since his election defeat, mostly to do with state fund 1Malaysian Development Berhad (1MDB). Rosmah was last month charged with 17 money laundering offences.

The 1MDB scandal was one of the major reasons for Najib's election loss.

The fund is the subject of corruption and money-laundering investigations in at least six countries.

In civil lawsuits over the last two years, US authorities allege that $4.5 billion was siphoned from 1MDB and about $700 million was diverted into Najib's personal bank accounts.

Najib and Rosmah have pleaded not guilty to all charges.