Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has been convicted of all seven charges in the 1MDB trial involving the transfer of US$10 million into his personal bank accounts.
The seven charges against Najib, 67, who served as prime minister from 2009 to 2018, involved the transfer of RM42 million (US$9.8 million) from former 1MDB unit SRC International into his personal bank accounts in 2014 and 2015 -- RM27 million and RM5 million in December 2014, and another RM10 million in February 2015.
He was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust, three counts of money laundering and one count of abuse of power -- seven counts in total.
The three criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges -- as a public servant and agent of the government, namely the PM, finance minister, and SRC International advisor emeritus -- were made under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years, whipping and a fine upon conviction.
Defence failed to argue case
On Tuesday, July 28, High Court judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohamad Ghazali said the defence “has not succeeded in rebutting the presumption on the balance of probabilities or raising reasonable doubt” on the abuse of power charge.
This was despite Najib's defence lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah telling AFP ahead of the verdict, “I feel good about the defence.”
The judge gave his verdict via a reading out of the judgment ahead of an official verdict for a corruption trial involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Najib’s counsel had argued that the former prime minister was merely a victim of a conspiracy planned by fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, commonly known as Jho Low.
Najib was “shocked and upset” when he found out that millions of ringgit had been transferred into his private accounts, the court was told during the trial.
Other trials lined up
Besides this trial, Najib is also facing two other 1MDB-linked trials.
The corruption case related to an alleged money laundering of RM27 million will be tried at Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan's court from July 5, 2021.
Najib is likely to appeal, but if the conviction is upheld, it could bar him from political office.
Najib's downfall stemmed from the loss sustained by Barisan Nasional government at the 14th general election.
Mahathir Mohamad, who became prime minister again during his second stint in office, called for investigations on the 1MDB scandal to be reopened.
Top photo via The Star