KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — Datin Seri Romah Mansor gave a teary speech from the dock she was convicted of all three charges in corruption trial involving a RM1.25 billion solar hybrid energy project for Sarawak schools, maintaining she never asked for or took the bribes involved.

Instead, the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak sought to portray herself as having contributed immensely to Malaysia, especially in the areas of children and women empowerment, and that she was wrongly convicted.

In her speech of around five minutes, she maintained that she was scapegoated by former aide turned prosecution witness Datuk Rizal Mansor and that she never personally met the individuals who said the paid the bribes to her.

“I must admit I’m very disappointed today, with what’s happening to me in this courtroom; I thought this is where you get justice.

“I’ve always told my lawyers to speak the truth and don’t ever lie because that’s how I was brought up. I want to leave this courtroom with good memories of what the court system and judiciary. I want to tell everyone that I was a former first lady whose only intention was to help the country,” she said tearily.

Rosmah said she started the Permata children’s development and welfare programme to help underprivileged women and children, describing herself as a disciplinarian who wanted to guide youths in that direction.

She insisted that during her entire time leading the organisation, which was rebranded after Barisan Nasional lost the 2018 general election, she never sought to embezzle its funds.

“I led a lot of NGOs and never once had I thought if taking even a single sen to cheat the public. I’ve always been careful, so, when I get into this courtroom it took me by surprise. How was I made the victim when not for one moment did I have any thought to cheat or otherwise.

“It’s also not about hearsay like the prosecution says. People accuse me of influencing my husband but truth is, every time I open my mouth, he would tell me not to interfere with his affairs and I don’t.

“So, I don’t want to take the court’s time too much but I’m standing here as a woman appealing for some compassion. Be human about it. It has happened to me now in the future but can happen to all of you. You’re next.

“As for me, its OK I’m a victim of all of this. You did it to my husband and you want my family to suffer. Well, we’ve suffered. Please consider me as a woman who’s in a man’s world trying her best and have some humanity,” she concluded.

Najib is currently serving a 12-year sentence in Kajang Prison after he lost his final appeal last month against his conviction on all charges related to the misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.

Earlier today, Rosmah was found guilty on all three charges for soliciting and receiving bribes in turn for offering a government project worth RM1.25 billion to Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd.

Court is in recess for a few minutes while Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan decides her sentencing.