1MDB Trial: Ex-Malaysian PM Najib Razak Asks for Delay in Sentencing

1MDB Trial: Ex-Malaysian PM Najib Razak Asks for Delay in Sentencing 

Last updated on July 31st, 2020

Najib Razak, former Malaysian Prime Minister, has been found guilty of all seven charges in his first corruption trial related to state development fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which involved millions of Malaysian ringgits.

Abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust are some of the seven charges that Najib Razak has been found guilty of.

While reading the judgement, High Court judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohamad Ghazali said, “I find that the prosecution has successfully proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. I therefore find the accused guilty and convict the accused on all seven charges.”

The judge also concluded that the defence “has not succeeded in rebutting the presumption on the balance of probabilities or raising reasonable doubt” on the abuse of power charge.

Najib Razak, who has served as the prime minister of Malaysia for almost nine years from 2009 to 2018, was caught in the controversy of transferring US$9.8 million (RM42 million) from former 1MDB unit SRC International into his personal bank accounts in 2014 and 2015. He was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust, three counts of money laundering and one count of abuse of power.

Najib Razak’s lawyer has demanded that the sentencing should be postponed till August 3 due to the lockdown in the country. “As we are aware, the whole country is in lockdown, my client isn’t going anywhere,” Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said.

However, the prosecution feels that there is no valid reason to delay the sentencing.

In 2018, after Dr Mahathir Mohamad ousted Najib-led Barisan Nasional government and succeeded Najib to become the next Malaysian prime minister, he reopened the investigations on the 1MDB scandal.  Reopening of the investigations led to movement restriction for Najib as he was barred from leaving the country and his cash and other valuable items were seized from his premises.

Apart from this trial, Najib Razak is caught between two other 1MDB-linked trials. A corruption case related to an alleged money laundering of RM27 million will be tried at Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan’s court next year in July.

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