The corruption trial verdict of Rosmah Mansor, who is the wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, has just been released today (1 Sep), a week after an alleged leaked copy with a “guilty verdict” surfaced on the internet.
Unfortunately for Rosmah, the verdicts align.
Rosmah, 70, had been found guilty by the High Court of Malaysia for accepting RM194 million (S$61 million) in bribes between 2016 and 2017 to help a solar energy firm, Jepak Holdings, secure a solar energy project aimed at providing solar energy panels to schools on Borneo Island. She has been sentenced to 10 years’ in Jail.
In addition, she currently faces 17 other tax evasion and money laundering charges involving RM7.1 million in a separate trial.
Both Najib And His Wife Tried to Delay their Trials
Following the leak of the document that was allegedly a draft report from the research team in Kuala Lumpur’s High Court, Rosmah filed an application to disqualify the High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan from presiding over her trial.
She expressed that she had come across an article tiled “Rosmah Mansor Will Be Pronounced Guilty On 1st September 2022”, written by Raja Petra Kamaruddin, a Malaysian Blogger known for his controversial political commentaries.
According to Rosmah, she was shocked to see that the judgement was already prepared and that it was not done by the judge himself but rather by other parties on his behalf.
Prior to this, she also applied to disqualify prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram from her case not once, not twice, but three times, with both subsequent appeals failing.
The woman’s got determination, you’ve got to give her that.
“I observe that the instant application is unprecedented in the context of the Malaysian judiciary where a party is actually seeking a High Court to judicially review the decision of another High Court,” Federal Court judge Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh said.
The court ruled that it was not necessary to deal with the merits of the application.
I mean, was this her plan? To just keep disqualifying these legal workers in Malaysia until there were none left to hand her the verdict?
Just last week, her husband and ex-PM Najib lost his final appeal against a 2020 graft conviction in the Federal Court. He then began his 12-year sentence to jail at the Kajang Prison.
He too, did not go down a fight though, as he sought to delay the proceeding of his trial trial involving the embezzlement of RM42 million in funds belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.
The Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and the five-member bench dismissed Najib’s appeal to set aside the conviction and sentence imposed by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on 28 July 2022, with some onlookers calling the last-minute appeals “despicable” and “baseless”.
Former Malaysian PM Mahathir also expressed his belief that it is highly likely that Najib, would be given a royal pardon for his crimes at some point, allowing him to not serve out the 12-year sentence.
We’ll just have to wait around and see if “political privilege” is really a thing.
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