Malaysia’s ex-PM Najib gets 12-yr jail in 1MDB graft case
Published: 07:03 PM, 28 July 2020 Updated: 12:44 AM, 29 July 2020
Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak arrives at court on Tuesday morning; Photo: Collected
A court in Malaysia on Tuesday has sentenced former prime minister Najib Razak to 12 years in jail in the first case of money scam involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). He was also fined 21 crore ringgit (Tk 417.30 crore).
The verdict was announced by Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohamad Nazlan Ghazali. Najib Razak was convicted in each of the seven charges brought against him before the verdict was announced.
Judge Mohamad Nazlan Ghazali said, “Najib should be served to 12 years in jail for abuse of power. He was also sentenced to 10 years in jail for three counts of breach of trust and three counts of money laundering. However, he will have to spend a total of 12 years in jail if these sentences are carried out together. He will have the opportunity to appeal against this verdict.”
The 1MDB fund was created in 2009 for new economic and social development in Malaysia by then prime minister Najib Razak.
Due to the failure of banks and shareholders to pay their dues in 2015, the activities of this fund were questioned. Authorities in Malaysia and the United States alleged that about US $4.5 billion has been embezzled from the fund and transferred privately. All this money has been spent on various luxurious activities including buying luxurious houses, planes and expensive paintings.
Najib Razak, who was present in the court when the verdict was announced, was calm. He was facing a tough time when he was convicted as Malaysia’s first leader. However, he announced an appeal against the verdict, claiming that “he did not know anything about the corruption.”
The 1MDB money scam played a major role in the historic defeat of Najib Razak and his coalition in the 2018 elections. Another former prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, came to power after winning the election. Within two months of his ouster, Najib was charged with three counts of fraud and one count of abuse of power. In all, a total of 42 charges have been brought against him. Most of it is related to the 1MDB fund.
Several supporters gathered outside the courthouse on Tuesday during the announcement of the verdict against Najib. They chanted slogans demanding the release of the former prime minister.