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Malaysian ex-PM Najib convicted on all charges in first 1MDB trial

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Malaysian ex-PM Najib convicted on all charges in first 1MDB trial

By Rozanna Latiff

 

2020-07-28T043223Z_3_LYNXNPEG6R08U_RTROPTP_4_MALAYSIA-POLITICS-NAJIB.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak arrives at Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia July 28, 2020. REUTERS/ Lim Huey Teng

 

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was found guilty on Tuesday on all seven corruption charges in his first trial linked to a multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

 

The landmark case has been widely seen as a test for the country's efforts to stamp out corruption and could have big political implications for the Southeast Asian nation.

 

"After considering all evidence in this trial, I find that the prosecution has successfully proven its case beyond a resonable doubt," Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohamad Ghazali said.

 

Najib faced seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power for allegedly illegally receiving nearly $10 million from former 1MDB unit SRC International. He had plead not guilty.

 

Each of the charges carry hefty fines and jail terms of up to 15 or 20 years. Najib's lawyers are seeking a delay in sentencing. Najib has said he would appeal any decision at the federal court.

 

The former prime minister, who was voted out in a historic 2018 election, still faces multiple criminal charges over allegations that $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB.

 

Prosecutors allege more than $1 billion of the funds made its way into his personal accounts.

 

The former premier arrived in court to shouts of "long live Najib" by hundreds of supporters who had gathered outside.

 

Wearing a mask and flanked by top leaders of his party, Najib offered prayers just outside the courtroom.

 

Najib's lawyers say he was misled by Malaysian financier Jho Low and other 1MDB officials into believing that the funds banked into his accounts were donated by the Saudi royal family, rather than misappropriated from SRC as prosecutors have alleged. Low denies wrongdoing.

 

Allegations of corruption over 1MDB have hung over Najib for more than five years. But the criminal charges came only after his defeat in the 2018 election when his successor Mahathir Mohamad reopened investigations.

 

The closely-watched case is seen as a test of Malaysia's efforts to root out corruption, after Najib's party was returned to power in February as part of an alliance led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

 

The verdict could have far reaching political implications.

 

The guilty verdict could boost Muhyiddin's credibility with the public, but weaken his coalition, which counts Najib's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) as its biggest component - and potentially trigger snap polls.

 

The court's decision comes just days after Malaysia reached a $3.9 billion deal with Goldman Sachs <GS.N> over its role in helping 1MDB raise money.

 

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Additional reporting by Joseph Sipalan; Editing by Ed Davies, Michael Perry)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-07-28
 

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Now the fun begins. The current govt is hanging on by its teeth. There will be lots of deals going on to get back into power before he gets to jail. Current pm is former unmo member.

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How is receiving huge 'donations' into your private account from a foreign power (Saudi), much better? Still sounds like corruption, just on a lesser scale.

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He's anointed by people higher up...these scum bags never go to jail!

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when do you think thailand will try to stamp out corruption ? by the end of the millennium ?

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Maybe he should have a chat with the assistant OAG in Thailand and the charges will disappear together with his Court conviction!

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2 hours ago, Bender Rodriguez said:

when do you think thailand will try to stamp out corruption ? by the end of the millennium ?

Not that soon.

 

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