1MDB case: ex-Malaysian PM Najib Razak loses final appeal￼
Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak has lost the final appeal to overturn his conviction for the high profile 1MDB scandal and has been ordered to begin a 12-year prison sentence. The multibillion dollar scandal has been dubbed as one of the world’s biggest financial frauds. A federal court panel of five members said of finding unanimously that Najib’s appeal was “devoid of any merits”.
The verdict came as a surprise to Razak as it was read aloud in the court. Najib’s daughter in law Nur Sharmila Shaheen told AFP that the family had been informed by court that the former prime minister was sent to Kajang prison, located south of the capital, Kuala Lumpur. This makes Najib to be the first Malaysian former prime minister to be jailed.
James Chin, professor of Asian Studies University of Tasmania, said the historical verdict marks as a victory for the Malaysian public and the judiciary. “Prior to this, a lot of people in Malaysia will tell you that when it comes to political cases, you can never be sure which way the wind blows in the courts. Now it is quite clear that the courts are quite impartial,” he said. The court had shown it was “even willing to break the ultimate taboo in south-east Asia” by convicting a powerful name.
1Malaysia Development Berhad or 1MBD related scandal was a huge financial fraud, of which the 69 year old former prime minister had denied of any wrongdoing. The 1MBD state fund was established to promote country’s development, but that turned into source of fraudulence of billions of dollars. The scandal had brought down Najib’s government and triggered global investigations, including in Singapore, Switzerland and the US.
“In July 2020, Najib was found guilty of breach of trust, abuse of power, and money laundering for illegally receiving about $10m £8.5m from SRC International, a former unit of state fund 1MDB. Najib, who had pleaded not guilty, was given a 12-year sentence and a 210m ringgit (£40m) fine,” as stated by The Guardian.