Rosmah Mansor, wife of disgraced former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, charged with taking US$45 million in bribes
- Najib and his wife, who has faced criticism for her extravagant lifestyle, are at the centre of a wide-ranging corruption investigation
- Since his election defeat in May, Najib has been charged with 38 counts of graft. Last month his wife was charged with 17 money laundering offences
Malaysia on Thursday accused Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Prime Minister Najib Razak, of soliciting and receiving bribes involving a sum of 189 million ringgit (US$45.16 million) from a company pitching for a government project.
Najib and his wife, who has faced criticism for her extravagant lifestyle, are at the centre of a wide-ranging corruption investigation launched by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was returned to power by a stunning election victory in May.
Prosecutors who charged Rosmah with two counts of corruption said the payments concerned a 1.25-billion-ringgit (US$299 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.
Prosecutors said Rosmah sought a bribe of 187.5 million ringgit (US$45 million) in 2016 from an executive of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, and received a bribe of 1.5 million ringgit (US$358,000) from the official the following year.
A spokeswoman for Jepak Holdings declined to comment on the matter.
Since his election defeat, Najib has been charged with 38 counts of graft, mostly over a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal at state fund 1Malaysian Development Berhad (1MDB). Rosmah was last month charged with 17 money laundering offences.
Najib and Rosmah have pleaded not guilty to all charges.