Najib Razak, who served as Malaysia’s prime minister from 2009 to 2018, has been eventually sentenced to 12 years in prison for his involvement in the enormous corruption scandal surrounding the nation’s state-owned wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB.
The Federal Court of Malaysia issued the directive on August 23, dismissing Razak’s final appeal and upholding a guilty verdict on a number of 1MDB allegations.
The High Court found the 69-year-old guilty on seven counts of criminal breach of trust, misuse of authority, and money laundering in July 2020 for obtaining $10 million from a former 1MDB subsidiary illegally. After filing an appeal, he was released on bond.
Nearly $50 million in fines
The conviction came with a 46.8 million dollar ($210 million) fine in addition to the prison sentence. Razak will spend an additional five years in prison if the fine is not paid.
Razak attempted to prevent the court from rendering its decision at the last minute by switching counsel shortly before the appeal hearing began, but the Federal Court rejected his bid to prolong his punishment.
Because of the conviction, Razak will no longer hold a parliamentary seat and is ineligible to run for office. He also has multiple additional 1MDB trials, although he still maintains his innocence.
From PM to prison: Malaysia’s Najib feels alone and overwhelmed by ‘betrayal’
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks to journalists outside the Federal Court during a court break, in Putrajaya, Malaysia August 23, 2022. (Reuters/Lai Seng Sin)
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will now consider condemned murderers and drug traffickers as neighbors despite having played golf with American presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama.
The Federal Court upheld a conviction on Tuesday for charges connected to a multibillion dollar graft scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, and as a result, Najib was given the go-ahead to start serving a 12-year prison sentence (1MDB).
As this was his final appeal, the former premier was escorted directly from the courthouse to jail while looking impeccable in a dark suit and grey tie.
It was a startling turn of events for a leader who clung to power during the height of the 1MDB allegations when he stifled local inquiries, dismissed investigators, and repressed critics even as foreign nations started investigations into the extensive scam.
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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