Najib first former Malaysian PM jailed for money laundering, power abuse

Najib first former Malaysian PM jailed for money laundering, power abuse

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 (NNN-Bernama) — In what can be considered a first for Malaysia, Najib Razak has become the country’s first former prime minister to be jailed for a criminal offence after the Federal Court upheld his conviction,12-year jail sentence and RM210 million (US$46.8 million) fine on Tuesday.

Najib, 69, arrived at Kajang Prison to begin his sentence at 6.47 pm in a black sports utility vehicle, along with several police vehicles, having departed from the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya at around 5.43 pm after exhausting his last avenue of appeal for misappropriating RM42 million (US$9.36 million) of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds.

Prior to the court’s decision, Malaysia’s sixth prime minister read a 20-page statement from the dock, claiming that the judiciary had been unfair to him as he watched the chance of his appeal succeeding slowly dwindle throughout the entire week.

“As an accused and appellant at the last stage of the case, I really feel it is the worst feeling to have, realising that the might of the judiciary is pinned against me in a most unfair manner,” he said.

Najib had also earlier claimed to his supporters that he would not be accorded proper justice even though he had tried his best when he stepped out to greet them at the court grounds at around 3.10 pm while proceedings were temporarily adjourned.

“I thank you all for showing up and for your support shown to me, I am sorry, I’ve done all I can but it looks like the court has rejected everything I’ve tried,” he said.

Many Malaysians who have followed the sixth Malaysian prime minister’s legal odyssey showed up at the court grounds to learn of his fate, joining the sea of reporters from foreign and local media agencies and over 300 supporters, who had gathered there since early Tuesday morning.

Najib’s supporters were spotted at the court grounds as early as 7 am, when 10 busses ferrying them arrived at the parking area.

Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor and their children, Mohd Nizar, Nooryana Najwa, Norashman and Mohd Nazifuddin, had been present with him as the proceedings unfolded throughout the day.

The five-judge panel, chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat rejected Najib’s last appeal to set aside the conviction and sentence handed out by the High Court on July 28, 2020. The Court of Appeals also affirmed the High Court’s decision on Dec 8, 2021.

Judge Tengku Maimun, while reading the 15-page ruling, said that Najib did not dispute that RM42 million had entered into his personal bank accounts throughout the SRC trial.

Tuesday’s proceedings proved to be eventful, with Najib’s counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik submitting an application to recuse the Chief Justice from the proceedings when proceedings began at 9.40 am.

The appearance of Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who Najib dropped as main counsel in favour of Hisyam, also created a stir with Hisyam informing the court that Muhammad Shafee would assist him in the recusal application.

Muhammad Shafee then went on to plead for an adjournment till Wednesday to submit on Najib’s application to recuse Judge Tengku Maimun.

Tengku Maimun then refused the adjournment and directed Hisyam to proceed with his submissions on why she should be recused.

The application was subsequently rejected by the court.

Najib still faces four other legal cases involving the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion (US$512.5 million) of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds, abusing his power to amend the 1MDB audit report, criminal breach of trust amounting to RM6.6 billion (US$1.47 billion) in relation to payments to International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and illegal money laundering involving SRC International funds worth RM27 million (US$6.01 million).



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