Ex-Malaysian PM Najib found guilty on corruption charges, sentenced to 12 years in jail
UNTV News • July 29, 2020 • 271
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was found guilty of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering on Tuesday in a case related to SRC International, a former unit of state investment fund Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The verdict is the first in several corruption trials against Najib.
The case involves 42 million ringgits (9.9 million U.S. dollars) deposited into Najib’s personal bank account from SRC International, in which Najib faced seven charges including criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power.
In the reading out of the ruling, Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ruled that the defence has failed to raise reasonable doubt against the prosecution’s case, which led him to find Najib guilty on all seven charges.
The judge later sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and a fine of 210 million ringgit (49.4 million U.S. dollars) for abuse of power; 10 years of jail for each of the three criminal breach of trust; and 10 years of jail for each of the three money laundering. But he ordered the sentences to run concurrently, meaning that Najib will face only up to 12 years in jail.
Najib, 67, said it’s not the end of the fight as he has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has appealed against his conviction.
“No, because this is definitely not the end of the world. Because there is a process of appeal and we hope that we will be successful there. So, the effort will continue and to my supporters, I hope they will continue to believe in me, believe in our struggle, and continue to be positive, and in high spirit,” he said.
Najib was also sentenced to an additional 5 years in jail if he fails to pay the fine, but the judge agreed to grant an application by the defence on a stay of execution on both jail sentence and the fine pending the appeal.
The judge has also set 1 million ringgits bail in two sureties to be paid by Wednesday afternoon, and Najib is required to report to the nearest police station on the 1st and 15th of every month.
The former prime minister was first prosecuted in July 2018. Last year, Najib was ordered by the High Court to enter his defence on all seven charges against him.
Najib has been slapped with dozens of charges for corruption, money laundering, power abuse and criminal breach of trust after his ruling coalition lost power during the national polls in May 2018.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s indictment on corruption charges does not disqualify him from forming a government, Israel’s top court said late on Wednesday (May 6), paving the way for the veteran leader to remain in power.
In its ruling against opposition petitioners, the Supreme Court also found that Netanyahu’s unity government deal with his election rival Benny Gantz does not violate the law, dismissing arguments that it unlawfully shields him in a corruption trial.
The ruling removes a critical legal hurdle to the coalition government the right-wing Netanyahu and centrist Gantz plan to swear in next week, following three inconclusive elections in the past year.
It also moves the country closer to ending its political deadlock as it grapples with the coronavirus crisis and its economic fallout.
Netanyahu was indicted in January on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. He denies any wrongdoing in all three cases. (Reuters)
(Production: Eli Berklzon, Rami Amichay, Lee Marzel)
New Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad gestures beside Wan Azizah, the wife of a jailed opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim, during a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin
Malaysia’s new Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, has said he believes most of the money missing in a notorious corruption scandal can be returned.
The row over the 1Malaysian Development Berhad (1MDB) state investment fund dogged his predecessor, Najib Razak, and contributed to his shock defeat.
Malaysia’s former strongman is back in power at the age of 92 following a gap of 15 years. — Reuters
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