On Tuesday, August 23, 2022, the former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, center, waves as he enters the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Associated Press hide caption
switch to caption Image by Vincent Thian/AP On Tuesday, August 23, 2022, the former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, center, waves as he enters the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
Author: Vincent Thian In Malaysia, PUTRAJAYA Tuesday, Malaysia’s highest court confirmed the fraud conviction and 12-year prison term imposed on former prime minister Najib Razak in connection with the theft of the 1MDB state money. Najib will have to start his sentence immediately after losing his final appeal, making him the first former prime minister to be imprisoned.
The five-member Federal Court panel declared that Najib’s appeal was “devoid of any grounds” and that it was unanimously determined that the high court judge was correct in his decision. The conviction and sentencing of Najib were upheld by the court.
Najib established the 1MDB development fund soon after assuming power in 2009. Investigators claim that Najib’s cronies stole and laundered at least $4.5 billion from the fund. Najib was convicted in 2020 of money laundering, criminal breach of trust, and abuse of power after receiving $9.4 million from SRC International, a former division of 1MDB, without authorization.
The 69-year-old Najib has maintained his innocence and has been free on bail while filing appeals. He stood up in the dock just before the court announced its decision to oppose the top court’s refusal last week to postpone the appeal so that his newly hired attorneys could prepare for the case.
Najib said that his case had been expedited and that he felt like he had been “unfairly treated.” He noted that a leaked Federal Court decision had been published online and declared that, if genuine, this would be “judicial malpractice of the greatest order.”
However, Chief Justice Maimun Tuan Mat declared that the appeal hearings were over since Najib’s attorneys declined to present any fresh arguments in protest at not having had additional time to prepare. She continued by reading the court’s ruling.
Najib exhibited shock. His family and friends surrounded him right away.
After numerous attempts by Najib to drag out the case, the decision was reached.
He attempted to have Maimun removed from the case earlier on Tuesday, alleging possible prejudice due to the fact that her husband had posted negatively about Najib’s leadership on Facebook soon after his defeat in the 2018 general elections. However, the justices denied Najib’s request.
Maimun, who was appointed as Malaysia’s first female chief justice in 2019, has come under fire from Najib’s supporters on social media. Over the weekend, police detained a guy in connection with threats made against Maimun that included death. Outside the court, hundreds of Najib’s fans came to show their support.
As a result of investigations into the 1MDB crisis in the US and other nations, Najib’s administration was overthrown in the 2018 elections. In five distinct cases connected to 1MDB, Najib is accused of a total of 42 offenses, and his wife is also on trial for corruption.
Najib is still a powerful political figure. The reformist administration that won the 2018 elections collapsed due to legislator defections, and his United Malays National Organization now controls the country.