Trial of former Malaysian PM's wife begins, court told she…

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      tuyetforrester
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      <br>KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 (Reuters) – The corruption trial of Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak, began on Wednesday, with a prosecutor describing how she exerted “considerable influence” over government decisions.<br> <br>Accusations of graft on a massive scale, were leveled against the couple after Najib lost a general election in 2018.
      They have both denied all charges, labeling them politically motivated.<br> <br>Najib now faces dozens of graft and money laundering charges linked to the plunder of funds from sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd. During a break from one of his own ongoing trials, Najib came to see Rosmah, 67, on her first day in the dock.<br> <br>During that brief visit Najib spoke to his wife and her lawyers, giving her a little hug before leaving the court.<br> <br>Rosmah faces three charges of soliciting and receiving bribes involving a sum of 194 million ringgit ($45.93 million) to help a company, Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, secure a solar power project.<br> <br>Of that total, prosecutors accuse Rosmah of arranging for 187 million ringgit to be paid as a political donation to Najib, while also receiving two bribes of 6.5 million ringgit.<br> <br>The trial had been due to start on Monday, but was delayed as the defence said Rosmah was too ill to attend.<br> <br>Sitting in the dock behind her legal team, dressed in a green floral baju kurung, a traditional Malay long smock and dress, and situs slot online wearing a headscarf, Rosmah appeared calm throughout the first day’s proceedings.<br> <br>Prosecutors argued that Rosmah had put herself in a position where she was able to influence decisions by the government, particularly the award of the a 1.25 billion ringgit solar power project for rural schools in the eastern state of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo.<br> <br>”By herself, she occupied no official position. However, she wielded considerable influence by reason of her overbearing nature,” Gopal Sri Ram, who leads the prosecution, said in his opening statement.<br> <br>High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan dismissed the objection from defence counsel Jagjit Singh that the prosecution’s characterisation of Rosmah as “overbearing” amounted to character assassination.<br> <br>($1 = 4.1150 ringgit) (Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)<br>

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