Rosmah Mansor, the wife Malaysia’s embattled former prime minister, faced questions over her involvement in a multi-billion dollar scandal. Authorities confiscated her jewelry and over 400 luxury handbags last month.Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Prime Minister Najib Razak gave a statement to anti-graft commissioners on Tuesday over a scandal involving state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Questioning was expected to focus on a 42 million ringgit ($10.6 million; €9.05 million) transfer that was made to Najib’s personal bank account from SRC International, a subsidiary of 1MDB.
Rosmah’s husband is accused of misappropriating some $4.5 billion (€3.85 billion) from a former subsidiary of 1MDB, including $700 million that was transferred to his personal account.
Najib has made several statements to anti-graft investigators and has denied any wrongdoing.
The scandal has dogged the former Malaysian leader and his family for the last three years and was a key reason behind his surprising defeat in the country’s May 9 election.
Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s new prime minister, reopened the corruption case against Najib shortly after taking power.
Luxury handbags, suitcases stuffed with cash
Attention has now turned to Rosmah following raids on several properties belonging to the couple unveiled the former first lady’s lavish lifestyle.
Malaysian authorities confiscated 72 suitcases filled with cash and jewelry as well as over 400 luxury handbags — over 284 of which were Birkin bags, which cost thousands of dollars per piece.
Rosmah’s lawyers have denied, however, that she spent $27 million on a rare pink diamond.
The reports of her large collection of designer handbags led some in Malaysia to compare Rosmah to Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines, who was known for her massive collection of designer shoes.
At least five governments have opened money-laundering investigations into the 1MDB scandal, including the United States, Switzerland, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
rs/ (dpa, Reuters)
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