Former Malaysian Prime Minister Loses Appeal of 1MDB Conviction

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak lost an appeal against his conviction last year on charges related to his role in the 1MDB scandal

Financial Investment Services, Financial Services

12/8/2021 10:00:00 AM

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak lost an appeal against his conviction last year on charges related to his role in the 1MDB scandal

Najib Razak is to remain free on bail pending an appeal to Malaysia’s highest court on charges related to his role in one of the world’s largest financial scandals.

Dec. 8, 2021 1:40 am ETKUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak lost an appeal against his conviction last year on charges related to his role in one of the world’s largest financial scandals, dealing a setback to the disgraced ex-leader amid a resurgence of his political clout.

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Malaysia’s appellate court struck down the appeal on Wednesday, upholding Mr. Najib’s conviction last year on all seven of the charges in question, including abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust. Justice Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil said the court’s three-member bench was unanimous in its decision.

“There is no error in the judgment of the High Court,” Mr. Abdul Karim said at a hearing held on the virtual-conference platform Zoom, referring to the body that convicted Mr. Najib. He called Mr. Najib’s actions a “national embarrassment.”The appeals court granted a request by Mr. Najib’s lawyers to stay his sentence as they submit a final appeal to Malaysia’s Federal Court, the country’s highest judicial authority. Mr. Najib is to remain free on bail throughout the appeal, which could take months or years, during which he will still be eligible to hold public office. Mr. Najib is currently a member of parliament. headtopics.com

In a press conference after the hearing, Mr. Najib said he was disappointed with the judgment and pledged to continue his fight against the charges. He denies all wrongdoing.The decision comes amid a remarkable political comeback by Mr. Najib and his allies. A ruling coalition backed by his party swept local elections last month, paving the way for snap nationwide polls that could restore its dominance. The party, United Malays National Organization, ruled without interruption for more than five decades until Mr. Najib’s downfall saw them voted out in 2018.

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Mr. Najib, 68, was prime minister of the Southeast Asian nation for almost a decade from 2009, during which he was accused of embezzling more than $680 million from 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB, a state investment fund that he founded and chaired. Government investigators said they believed the money was siphoned directly into Mr. Najib’s personal bank accounts.

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