Former Malaysia premier starts 12 years in the slammer

A federal court in Kuala Lumpur yesterday rejected an appeal by the former prime minister of Malaysia, that he had done no wrong, and sentenced him to a 12-year jail term for playing a part in a multi-million dollar graft. It was reported he was sent to Kajang prison, south of the Kuala Lumpur capital.

Najib Razak, who served as Malaysia’s PM from 2009 to 2018, was found guilty of money laundering, and abuse of power, related to a corruption scandal involving a state-owned wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The 69 year old was convicted in July 2020 but had been out on bail during the appeal.

Razak denied any wrongdoing.

The federal court found him guilty on several counts in 2020 revolving around 42m ringgit (US$9.4m) which was transferred from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB, into his private accounts.

Razak was sentenced to 12 years’ jail and received a fine of US$46.8m.

The ex-PM’s defence team told the court that Razak believed the funds transferred to his accounts were donated by the Saudi royal family and not funds from the Malaysian state.

Razak’s team also stated that he was misled by financial advisers, such as financier Jho Low, who has been charged in the US and Malaysia but also maintains his innocence.

Razak ‘s team also demanded the removal of Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat from the panel presiding over the case as they believed she was prejudiced against him after he criticised her in a Facebook post in 2018.

The chief justice minister dismissed this request saying the post was made well before the charges were brought against the former Malaysian chief.

In her verdict, the chief justice said the five-judge panel unanimously found that the conviction of Razak on all seven counts was safe and the appeal “devoid of any merits.”

“The defence is so inherently inconsistent and incredible that it has not raised reasonable doubt on the case.”

The charges addressed yesterday are the first of five trials relating to 1MDB case.

Razak’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, who also faces money laundering and tax evasion charges, pleaded not guilty.

She separately faces corruption charges related to a solar hybrid project, and the High Court is set to deliver her verdict for this case on 1 September.


World News

Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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