1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Wife of Malaysia's former PM guilty of corruption

September 1, 2022

Following in her husband's footsteps, the wife of the former Malaysian prime minister has been found guilty of graft. Najib Razak has already begun his 12-year jail sentence.

Rosmah Mansor wife of Malaysia's former Prime Minister Najib Razak, arrives in court in Kuala Lumpur wearing a face mask
Rosmah Mansor is notorious in Malaysia for her luxurious lifestyleImage: Hasnoor Hussain/REUTERS

Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, was convicted on three counts of bribery in the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Thursday.

The charges relate to a company she helped to win a $279 million (€278.3 million) contract after soliciting and receiving bribes.

Her conviction comes just a week after her husband was sentenced to a 12-year jail term, after also being found guilty of graft.

"The accused is found guilty of all three charges," said High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.

The judge has yet to deliver the sentence, but any jail time may be delayed if Mansor launches an appeal. She is, however, still facing 17 other charges of tax evasion and money laundering.

What are the corruption charges related to?

Rosmah, 70, had been charged with three counts of soliciting and receiving bribes between 2016 and 2017 while her husband was in power.

Prosecutors said she had sought bribes of up to 187.5 million ringgit ($41.8 million). They also said she received 6.5 million ringgit from a company that went on to win a contract for a government solar power project.

The charges carry a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison, as well as fines equal to five times the amount of the bribe received.

Rosmah claimed she was set up by her former aide as well as government and company officials involved in the project.

A luxurious lifestyle

The former prime minister and his wife have long faced criticism for their lavish lifestyle. Rosmah was criticized for her spending on a collection of designer handbags, clothing and jewelry that she bought on international shopping trips.

Police confiscated over 500 handbags and 12,000 items of jewelry with an estimated value of $270 million during raids in 2018.

The vast collection of luxuries brought unflattering comparisons with Imelda Marcos, the wife of the Philippines' former dictator and the mother of the newly elected Filipino president, who is known for corruption and her collection of shoes.

Former Prime Minister Najib Razak was convicted and sentenced over his role in the looting of the 1MDB state development fund.

Malaysian ex-PM Razak jailed for 12 years

The scandal — which brought down his government in 2018 — also led to the US Justice Department opening an investigation, saying that over $4.5 billion was stolen from the fund between 2009 and 2015 by high-level officials.

The former prime minister is still facing four more charges, with a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for abuse of power as well as up to 15 years for money laundering.

ab/wd (Reuters, AFP)