August 24, 2022: -On Tuesday, Malaysia’s top court sent the former prime minister Najib Razak to a 12-year sentence after keeping a guilty conviction on charges related to a multi-billion-dollar graft humiliation at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
Rejecting Najib’s final appeal, the country’s top court also refused his request for a stay of sentence.
Najib, aged 69, was found guilty by a lower court in July 2020 of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power, and money laundering for receiving nearly $10 million from SRC International illegally, a former unit of 1MDB. He was out on bail and pending appeals.
The former premier, judged not guilty, was sentenced to 12 years in jail and a 210 million ringgit fine.
Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat stated that the court dismissed Najib’s appeals and that the lower courts’ conviction was safe.
“The defense is so inherently inconsistent and incredible that it has not raised reasonable doubt on the case. We also find that the sentence imposed is not manifestly excessive,” she added.
Najib was placed in the dock as the verdict was read out. His wife, Rosmah Mansor, and three children were placed behind him.
The court had rejected the last gasp effort by Najib to forestall the final verdict by requesting the removal of the chief justice from the panel.
Addressing the court moments before the final verdict was given, Najib said he was the victim of injustice while requesting another two months for his new lawyers to prepare for his appeal.
“It’s the worst feeling to realize that the might of the judiciary is pinned against me most unfairly,” Najib told the court.
Prosecutors have said $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB – co-founded by Najib in his first year as prime minister in 2009. Investigators say they had traced more than $1 billion of 1MDB money to accounts linked to Najib.
The wide-ranging humiliation has involved officials and financial institutions worldwide and encouraged the U.S. Department of Justice to open what became its most prominent kleptocracy investigation.
Najib has faced several trials over the allegations and has consistently denied wrongdoing.