No-Show Rosie: Rosmah Mansor calls in sick to first day of trial

In an unfortunate turn of events, wife of former PM Najib Razak and woman currently on trial for graft charges Rosmah Mansor was admitted to an Ampang-area hospital yesterday for treatment on what was meant to be the first day of her trial.

Her lawyer, Akberdin Abdul Kader, told local media that Rosmah was suffering from cervical spondylosis (a fancy term for age-related neck pain), osteoarthritis in both knees, and chronic adrenal insufficiency.

Accused of siphoning off hundreds of millions of ringgits from a Sarawak solar energy project, Rosmah was set to begin her trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday. Given that she was a no-show, however, the judge no choice but to adjourn the trial for the day, and order it to resume on Wednesday, Feb. 5.

Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan suggested that the defense make arrangements for Rosmah to be more comfortable during her trial, including providing her with a wheelchair and allowing for short breaks during proceedings.

Rosmah is currently facing two graft charges over RM187.5 million (US$45.6 million) of lost funds in connection with a project that was supposed to provide electricity to schools in Sarawak. The entire project was valued at RM1.25 billion (US$304 million), with Jepak Holdings tasked with providing hybrid solar power and diesel generators to 369 rural schools in the state.

The first charge accuses Rosmah of attempting to pocket the RM187.5 million from Jepak as a “reward” for helping the company win the project.

The wife of the former PM also faces a second charge involving another monetary reward that she allegedly received over the same project.

All charges were brought forth by the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission, and come with a 20-year sentence and fine.


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