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Malaysian court orders trial of former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s wife to continue

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The Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that the prosecution had proved sufficient reasons for the case to proceed.

“This is my finding that the prosecution has produced credible evidence to prove every element of the offense … I now call on the accused to enter a defense,” Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said in his ruling.

Rosmah, who wore a traditional Malay dress with a headscarf, told the court she would testify under oath during the defense proceedings.

Her lawyer, Jagjit Singh, said after the hearing the defense would be “hampered to some extent” because the judge did not explain the factors behind his decision, adding that this had caused his client emotional distress.

“We had to comfort her a little bit. We just told her to go back to her house and take away all the stress she has gone through here,” Jagji told reporters.

Rosmah was previously accompanied by Najib, who had to leave in the middle of her hearing to attend his court case.

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Rosmah, 69, faces three counts of soliciting and taking bribes including a sum of 194 million ringgit ($ 48.09 million) to help a company, Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, secure a solar power project.

Of that total, prosecutors accuse Rosmah of arranging 187 million ringgit ($ 46.22 million) to be paid as a political donation to Najib, while also taking two bribes of 6.5 million ($ 1.6 million) ringgit.

If convicted, she could face up to 20 years in prison and be fined at least five times the amount set out in the charges.

In July, Najib was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to 12 years in prison in the first trial of several trials linked to a multibillion-dollar scandal involving the state-funded 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). He has since made an appeal against the decision.

The couple denies any wrongdoing, saying the allegations are politically motivated.

The Rosmah case resumes on June 9.

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