KUALA LUMPUR: The RM970mil fine imposed on Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor is the highest ever slapped on anyone in a corruption case under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.
The amount far surpassed her husband, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s, RM210mil fine in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.
Her lawyer, Datuk Jagjit Singh, was clearly upset.
He told a press conference later that there had never been a higher fine imposed in a Malaysian court.
“The fine is RM970mil. That is almost one billion ringgit. You tell me, can anybody afford that amount? I can’t afford that.
“Now our client has to come up with nearly RM1bil, and she doesn’t have a source of income,” Jagjit told reporters.
Rosmah was found guilty of one count of soliciting RM187.5mil and two counts of accepting bribes – RM1.5mil and RM5mil – from the former managing director of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, Saidi Abang Samsudin.
The bribe was received through her former aide, Datuk Rizal Mansor, as a reward for helping Jepak Holdings obtain the Integrated Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Hybrid System Project as well as a RM1.25bil genset/diesel maintenance and operations project for 369 schools through direct negotiations with the Education Ministry.
“The accused is fined RM970mil in default of 10 years for each count,” Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said in his decision.
Under Section 16(a)(A) of the MACC Act, Rosmah faces a maximum 20 years in jail and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification, upon conviction.
The breakdown of Rosmah’s fine is as follows:
1. First charge: RM937.5mil fine
2. Second charge: RM7.5mil fine
3. Third charge: RM25mil fine
In all three cases, the fine was five times the amount received.
If she fails to pay the fine, Rosmah will have to serve 10 years in prison on each count, and this jail time will run consecutively.
For the mandatory jail term, the court sentenced Rosmah to 10 years in jail for each of the charges, to run concurrently from the date of judgment.
Jagjit mitigated for a lenient sentence.
He sought for his client to be imposed with just a day in jail for each of the charges, to run concurrently.
“She has an unblemished character; she has been of service to the nation,” the lawyer said.
Jagjit said Rosmah was a victim of circumstances and a victim of name-dropping.
He asked the court to consider Rosmah’s contributions to the country, namely her brainchild – the Permata programme – which was recognised internationally.
Meanwhile, lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram told the court to consider the gravity of the offence.
“The purpose here is to send a message to would-be offenders.
“Corruption is the most vile disease that can attack society,” he said.
He urged the court to give Rosmah the maximum or near-maximum jail time.
He said the law requires that the fine be no less than five times the amount of gratification.
At this point, Rosmah, who was sitting in the dock, muttered under her breath: “Kill me.”
Jagjit also applied for a stay of execution pending an appeal to the Court of Appeal.
This was not objected to by the prosecution.
“The sentence is therefore suspended, including the payment of fines. The RM2mil bail is to be extended,” Justice Zaini said.