June 4, 2023

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Malaysia’s Supreme Court on Saturday condemned a smear attempt to leak the guilty verdict of former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s wife This comes just days after he was jailed for embezzlement linked to the looted 1MDB state fund.

The High Court will rule on Thursday in the corruption case of Rosmah Mansor over the 1.25 billion ringgit ($279 million) solar project. Najib began serving a 12-year sentence on Tuesday after losing one of five corruption cases involving 1MDB.

The Malaysia Today website, run by a UK-based Malaysian blogger, published a 71-page document it said contained the guilty verdict against Rosmah. Reports late Friday said the verdict was written by an unknown person, not the High Court judge handling Rosmah’s case.

The Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia’s Supreme Court condemned the website’s actions as a “deliberate act” to discredit the court. It said it had lodged a complaint with the police and vowed not to intimidate the court with attempts to threaten the administration of justice.

“The office emphasizes that the judiciary will not be harassed by illegal and irresponsible conduct aimed at compromising the integrity of the nation’s judicial system,” the statement said.

Just four days ago, just before the court’s verdict was read out, the chief registrar also lodged a police report with Malaysia Today for the release of a document alleging the federal court’s guilty verdict against Najib. The court said the leaked document was a working draft of the ruling.

Rosmah faces three counts of soliciting bribes and accepting 6.5 million ringgit ($1.5 million) between 2016 and 2017 to help a company secure a project to supply solar panels to schools on the island of Borneo.

If she is found guilty, Rosmah is expected to remain on bail so she can appeal to a higher court.

Najib, his wife and several senior officials have all faced corruption charges since the 1MDB scandal sparked public outrage and forced his government to step down in 2018.

He said he was innocent and misled by others. Rosmah’s defense attorneys argued that an aide who testified for her was a corrupt liar.

Despite his conviction, Najib remains influential in his UM party, which returned to power after a defection brought down the reformist government that won polls in 2018.

Najib cannot contest the general election to be held in September 2023 unless he receives a royal pardon, as advocated by his supporters.

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