Najib going to prison after losing final appeal

Off he goes.

Tan Min-Wei | August 23, 2022, 04:52 PM

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Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s final appeal before the Federal Court has failed.

This means that his previous conviction on corruption charges will stand, and he will be going to prison starting immediately on August 23.

Apex court upheld ruling

According to New Straits Times, Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat ruled the former prime minister had failed to show how the findings of the lower courts were in error and needed the intervention of the apex court.

She therefore upheld the decisions of the High Court and the Court of Appeal, and said that the sentences were not excessive.

Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor and UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were present when the verdict was read.

Seven charges

Najib was convicted on three counts of criminal breach of trust, three money laundering charges and one count of abuse of power. This was related to the misappropriation of RM42 Million (S$13.7 Million) of funds belonging to then 1MDB subsidiary SRC International.

Najib was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and a RM 210 million (S$65.33 Million) in July 2020 after a 79 day trial, but then filed multiple appeals.

Seismic moment

This represents a seismic moment in Malaysian politics, as the first former Malaysian prime minister to be sentenced to prison and carry out his sentence.

While Najib’s prosecution started under the now-opposition government coalition led by Mahathir Mohammed, it is ending under the government of his own party, UMNO and the Barisan Nasional.

Najib still retains a certain amount of personal popularity, as shown by the crowds of supporters gathering outside the Palace of Justice whenever he is due to make an appearance.

Outlets such as Bloomberg have carried speculation by another former prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, that Najib has a “50-50” chance of being pardoned, however Mahathir did not provide any evidence for his claim.

Top image from Mohd Rasfan/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images