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 Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan upheld his guilty verdict from the Court of Appeal.
The ruling affirms the December decision by the Appellate court to uphold the 2020 decision by the High Court of Kuala Lumpur that found the 69-year-old politician guilty of embezzling RM42 million from 1MDB-linked company SRC International.
“These appeals are therefore unanimously dismissed and the conviction and sentence are affirmed,” Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said on behalf of a five-judge panel, as reported by SCMP.
After the judges left the court, an apathetic Najib was immediately surrounded by family members. His wife Rosmah Mansor – who is facing criminal cases of her own – as well as daughter Nooryana and sons Ashman and Nizar were present in court.
However, it is not yet clear whether Najib will immediately be taken to jail to serve his sentence.
Earlier today, Najib filed an application to recuse the five-member bench presiding over his final appeal.
The 69-year-old claimed in his affidavit that there was a posting on Facebook, published by an individual named Zamani Ibrahim on May 11, 2018, that spoke about Najib being ‘dethroned’ after the 14th General Election.
He added that it was possible that Zamani could have influenced the chief justice’s judgment on his alleged guilt because he was her husband.
However, the appeal was rejected by Maimun.
Meanwhile, Najib’s supporters refused to leave the court grounds even after it started raining after the judgment was read.
Among his supporters were a group of middle-aged women who told Coconuts that the ruling was illogical. They said that they were heartbroken and would work to ensure that Najib’s United Malays National Organisation (Umno) party wins in the next election.
“He was a good prime minister and implemented so many initiatives. This is unfair.”
“After this, we will go back and work to ensure that Najib’s party wins the election,” another said with a look of disappointment on her face.
Other supporters shooed the media away with tears in their eyes, refusing to speak to them despite being open to interviews earlier in the day.
Najib is the first politician to be convicted after several were arrested for corruption in 2018 in relation to the 1MDB scandal.
Zahid Hamidi, the current Umno party leader, is also among those who are facing criminal breach of trust charges.