Rosmah Mansor (C), the wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, leaves the court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 10, 2019. Rosmah Mansor was charged on Wednesday for accepting a bribe of 5 million ringgit (1.2 million U.S. dollars) in connection with a solar power project for rural schools. (Xinhua/Chong Voon Chung)
KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, was charged on Wednesday for accepting a bribe of 5 million ringgit (1.2 million U.S. dollars) in connection with a solar power project for rural schools.
Rosmah was charged for receiving the money from a company director through her former special officer Rizal Mansor, in exchange for the project which was granted to the company via direct negotiation at the time, according to the charge sheet.
She pleaded not guilty at a Kuala Lumpur court and now faces a total of 20 charges including corruption and money laundering.
Last November, Rosmah and Rizal were separately charged for attempting to solicit 44.8 million U.S. dollars, 15 percent of the contract value, from the company awarded the contract.
Rosmah was also charged with receiving bribes from the company director to assist him in obtaining the contract while Rizal was slapped with four charges, two counts of soliciting and another two counts of receiving bribes.
It was alleged that the solar panel project, worth over 300 million U.S. dollars and involving more than 300 schools in the country's eastern state of Sarawak, was awarded to a company without an open tender with the endorsement by Najib, who was the prime minister at the time.
Prior to the solar power project case, she had been slapped with 17 money laundering and tax-evasion offences involving 1.6 million U.S. dollars.
Najib himself faces 42 counts of corruption, criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering charges, with the first trial started last week.