Rosmah breaks into tears, says she's innocent

01 Sep 2022 06:21pm
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex, today. - BERNAMA
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex, today. - BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR - The courtroom today turned sombre when Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was in tears when she told judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan that she was innocent as she never had any thoughts about squandering money.

Rosmah, 70, who was emotional when giving her statement from the dock said that she was a victim as she never had solicited any money.

"I hope your honour will consider the fact that I am a woman taking over a man’s role in my house. My Lord, look at me as a woman with compassion, with some humanity.

"Never ever had I touched the money even in Bakti (Badan Amal dan Kebajikan Tenaga Isteri-Isteri Menteri dan Timbalan Menteri). I do not know Jepak Holdings (Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd former managing director, Saidi Abang Samsudin). I advised him not to be cheated. I have never solicited any money. Nobody saw me count the money and bring it upstairs.

"Hear what I want to say. I respect your decision but I want to leave with good memory of what the court is all about. I formed a special court for children (for sexual offences).

"Nobody thought about drug addicts and sat down with those in the government and private sector and adopted an idea from Unicef to start with the children,” she said in her mitigation for a lenient sentence.

The wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said she had always spoken the truth.

"We have been here all this time. I have always spoken the truth. This is what I believe in and what I have passed down to children of the Permata programme. My Lord, I want the children to have good manners and that is why the government ran Permata (including) Permata Kurnia and dealt with issues faced by youths, including those at the low-cost flats.

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"I am pleased to be able to contribute to the country, and it hurts me to see children running all over the place. I want to bring the children of this country to a higher level," she said.

Rosmah pointed out that she was also chairman of the Badminton Association of Malaysia and never thought about taking the money.

"I never influenced my husband," she said.

At one point, Rosmah said that her entire family suffered from what had happened to them.

"I am a victim. It may happen to your children. We have all suffered," she said, adding that she left the matter to Allah.

Meanwhile, her lawyer Datuk Jagjit Singh submitted on Rosmah's plea for a lesser sentence, requesting the judge to sentence her to just a day's jail and a minimum fine.

He said Rosmah had a good character and done service to the nation as the wife of a prime minister, especially in helping young children who were not given education.

He further said that Rosmah's brainchild, the Permata programme to help underprivileged children, was something no other wife of any prime minister in the country had ever done.

"She also has health issues. This is her first offence," said the lawyer.

He added that others implicated in the solar project had all gotten off scot-free while his client was the only one charged.

"Nevertheless, she still rendered her full cooperation to the authorities," said Jagjit.

Lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, however, sought the court to take into consideration the gravity of the offence.

The former federal court judge pointed out that each of the three charges carried a penalty of maximum jail of 20 years and a fine of five times the gratification.

"This is to send the message that corruption is a virulent thing in society that should be stamped out.

"I cannot agree with the one-day jail sentence requested. The purpose is to stop this offence as corruption is the most vile act in the country. It is a painful thing for sentencing and painful for the judiciary to impose a custodial sentence," said the prosecutor.

Sri Ram also sought the court to impose a total fine of RM970 million against the accused.

He also informed the court that in the event that Rosmah failed to settle the fine, she could be hit with an additional 30 years in jail.

"My Lord, if just a day's jail is imposed, it will send the wrong message to society. Thus, a maximum or a near-maximum sentence should be imposed... corruption is a very serious offence," he insisted. After hearing this, Rosmah remarked: "Might as well kill me." Sri Ram also said the fine could be suspended until the disposal of the appeal.

At this point, Jagjit stood up and said they were also seeking a stay of execution pending an appeal against today's ruling and subjected to the bail term imposed.

Sri Ram did not object to the stay application.

The court allowed the application and maintained the RM2 million bail that was previously imposed on Rosmah. - BERNAMA