The highest court in Malaysia today rejected an attempt by the imprisoned former Prime Minister, Najib Razak, to appeal his corruption conviction related to the 1MDB scandal.
This marks the end of Najib’s legal attempts to challenge the guilty verdict, Channel News Asia reported.
He is the first Malaysian premier to be jailed after his 12-year prison sentence was upheld by the Federal Court last year.
Although he can no longer contest the conviction in court, he has applied for a royal pardon which, if granted, could result in his release before serving the full term.
Federal Court Judge Vernon Ong stated that the five-member panel voted 4-1 to dismiss Najib’s appeal, as there was no miscarriage of justice in the court’s previous decision, and reviews were only granted under limited and exceptional circumstances.
“In the final analysis, and having regard to all circumstances, we are constrained to say that the applicant (Najib) was the author of his own misfortunes,” Ong said.
According to Najib’s lawyer Shafee Abdullah, there is a chance of further legal action due to one judge’s dissenting opinion.
“As a result of the minority judgement, there is an avenue that is open,” Shafee told reporters. He declined to say what action his client would pursue.
The scandal involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which Najib co-founded during his first year as Prime Minister in 2009, resulted in the theft of approximately US$4.5 billion, with over US$1 billion ending up in accounts linked to Najib, as confirmed by Malaysian and US investigators.
The siphoned funds were used to purchase high-end assets such as real estate, a Picasso painting, a private jet, a superyacht, hotels, and jewelry, and to finance the Hollywood film “The Wolf of Wall Street” in 2013.
During Najib’s tenure, Malaysian investigations into the scandal were suppressed, even as global probes continued.
However, he was charged following his defeat in the 2018 general election due to public anger over the corruption scandal.
Najib, the son of Malay nobility who received a British education, served as Prime Minister from 2009 to 2018 before losing the election.
He was convicted in 2020 by a high court of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power, and money laundering for illegally receiving around $10 million from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit, and lost all of his appeals.
Najib is facing three additional trials related to corruption in 1MDB and other government agencies.
Throughout the legal proceedings, the former Prime Minister has consistently maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
In 2020, a high court convicted him of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power, and money laundering, for unlawfully obtaining around $10 million from SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB. Despite appealing the verdict, he lost all his appeals.
Najib is also expected to face three other trials concerning corruption in 1MDB and other government institutions. Throughout the legal proceedings, the ex-Prime Minister has continuously maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Malaysia’s former premier Najib Abdul Razak has failed in his final bid to overturn his 12-year prison sentence and RM210 million (US$46.7 million) fine at Malaysia’s Supreme Court today after… Read more.
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