Malaysian court slams ex-PM’s wife’s alleged verdict leak
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia’s top court on Saturday condemned as attempted defamation the leaking of an alleged guilty verdict against the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak days after he was jailed for corruption linked to the plundered 1MDB public fund.
The High Court is due to deliver its verdict on Thursday in Rosmah Mansor’s corruption trial over a 1.25 billion ringgit ($279 million) solar power project. Najib began a 12-year prison term on Tuesday after losing his final appeal in one of five corruption cases against him involving 1MDB.
The Malaysia Today website, run by a Malaysian blogger now based in England, published a 71-page document it describes as containing a guilty verdict against Rosmah. On Friday evening, the report alleged that the verdict was written by unknown persons and not by the High Court judge handling Rosmah’s case.
The Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court, Malaysia’s highest court, condemned the website’s action as « a deliberate act » aimed at smearing the reputation of the court. He said he had filed a complaint with the police and promised that the court would not be intimidated by attempts to threaten the administration of justice.
« This office emphasizes that the judiciary will not be harassed with unlawful and irresponsible acts intended to tarnish the integrity of the country’s judicial system, » the statement said.
Just four days ago, the chief clerk also filed a police report against Malaysia Today for publishing a document he said was the Federal Court’s guilty verdict against Najib, just before the decision was released. be read in court. The court said the leaked document was a working draft of the decision.
Rosmah faces three charges of soliciting bribes and receiving 6.5 million ringgit ($1.5 million) between 2016 and 2017 to help a company secure a project to supply panels. solar energy to schools on the island of Borneo.
If found guilty, Rosmah is expected to remain free on bail for her appeal to the higher courts.
Najib, his wife and several senior officials have been accused of corruption since the 1MDB scandal sparked public anger that forced his government to resign in 2018.
He says he is innocent and was misled by others. Rosmah’s defense attorneys argued that an aide who testified against her was a corrupt liar.
Despite his conviction, Najib remains influential in his United Malays National Organization party, which returned to power after defections caused the collapse of the reformist government that won the 2018 elections.
Najib cannot participate in the general elections scheduled for September 2023, unless he obtains a royal pardon, as his supporters are advocating.
The Associated Press