former prime minister Najib Razak sentenced to 12 years in prison for corruption
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, 69, failed to convince Malaysia’s highest court of his innocence. Prosecutors confirmed on Tuesday, August 23 the sentence of former Prime Minister Najib Razak to 12 years in prison for corruption in the context of the financial scandal 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) with planetary ramifications.
“We consider that the appeal is devoid of any merit. We believe that condemnation and punishment are sure, its dishonesty is established », said court president Maimun Tuan Mat. Najib Razak was immediately taken into custody.
The evidence of guilt is irrefutable
“Based on the foregoing, we unanimously believe that the evidence presented at the trial conclusively shows (that he is guilty) of the seven counts. » Mr. Maimun felt that « It would be a parody of justice of the utmost importance if a reasonable tribunal, faced with such evidence, (…) had to conclude that the person appealing is not guilty of the seven charges brought against him”.
The federal court’s decision came after the court rejected a last-minute request by Najib Razak’s lawyers to recuse the court president, citing his bias.
Surprise electoral defeat in 2018
Najib Razak was sentenced in July 2020 to twelve years in prison and a fine of 210 million ringgits (42 million euros) in the 1MDB case, a fraud involving several billion dollars with planetary ramifications. The sentence was confirmed on appeal in December 2021. But Najib Razak’s lawyers had appealed, which has just been rejected.
The anger of Malaysians against the looting of the sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, supposed to contribute to the economic development of their country, had played a big role in the surprise electoral defeat in 2018 of the coalition led by Najib Razak, who has led the government since 2009.
Since losing power, Najib Razak had already been briefly detained and charged with several charges related to the alleged embezzlement of some $10 million from a former 1MDB fund entity. This time, he no longer has any possible recourse and will spend the next twelve years in prison.