Najib Razak, the ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia, on Tuesday was found guilty with 7 corruption charges. “After considering all evidence in this trial, I find that the prosecution has successfully proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohamad Ghazali said.
Razak faced 7 charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power for purportedly receiving nearly 10 million dollars illegally from 1MDB unit SRC International. However, he had pleaded not guilty.
Each of the 7 charges carries a huge fine and jail terms of up to 15 or 20 years. Moreover, lawyers of Najib are seeking a delay in sentencing.
The ex-PM was voted out in the 2018 election, but, he still faces many charges.
More than 1 billion dollars of the funds made its way into the personal account of Najib, prosecutors alleged.
The former premier arrived in court to shouts of “long live Najib” by hundreds of supporters who had gathered outside. Najib offered the namaaz just outside of the courtroom while wearing a mask.
Najib’s lawyers say he was misled by Malaysian financier Jho Low and other 1MDB officials into believing that the funds banked into his accounts were donated by the Saudi royal family, rather than misappropriated from SRC as prosecutors have alleged. Low denies wrongdoing.
For more than 5 years, allegations of corruption hung over Najib. However, his criminal charges highlighted when he was voted out in the 2018 election. His successor Mahathir Mohamad reopened investigations.
Najib’s party got back to power in February as part of an alliance led by PM Muhyiddin Yassin. This decision of alleging Najib could have far-reaching political implications. This verdict could trust of Muhyiddin among the public. However, this verdict will surely weaken his alliances with UMNO which considers Najib as its biggest part.
The court released its decision just days after Malaysia reached a deal of a 3.9 million dollar with Goldman Sachs over its part in aiding 1MDB raise money.