Malaysia’s former prime minister, Najib Razak has been sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined £38 million after a court in Kuala Lumpur found him guilty of corruption in the first of five trials over the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal.
The conviction on Tuesday, July 28, makes Najib the first Malaysian leader to be found guilty of corruption.
The 67-year-old who faced seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering, and abuse of power for diverting an estimated 42 million ringgit ($9.8m) from SRC International, a unit of 1Malaysia Development Berhad, into his personal bank accounts, was convicted on all charges.
He also faces further charges relating to more than $500million.
“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,” Judge Mohd Nazlan Ghazali said, referring to the allegations of abuse of power, several counts of money laundering, and criminal breach of trust filed against Najib.
Najib has revealed plans to appeal the 12-year jail sentence and he may not be sent to jail immediately. He wrote on Facebook ‘I am ready’ to take the decision to the Court of Appeals.
If his conviction is upheld, he will also be barred from political office for several years.
The conviction comes just six days after the High Court ordered Najib to pay the government as much as 1.69 billion ringgit ($400m) in unpaid taxes and penalties, covering the years from 2011 to 2017.
His wife, Rosmah Mansor also faces charges of money laundering and tax evasion but has pleaded not guilty. Najib Razak served as the 6th Prime Minister of Malaysia from 2009 to 2018.