Bangkok Desk, Dec 8 (EFE).- A Malaysian court on Wednesday upheld former prime minister Najib Razak’s 12-year prison sentence for seven corruption charges linked to state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
In a virtual hearing, due to one of Najib’s defence team contracting Covid-19, Malaysia’s Court of Appeal unanimously rejected the appeal of the convictions handed down in the High Court in July last year.
A three-member panel, led by Judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, affirmed that Najib misappropriated 42 million ringgits ($10 million) from SRC International, a subsidiary of the 1MDB state fund that he set up in 2009 and oversaw.
Najib, who faces several trials linked to the 1MDB scandal, had been found guilty of one count of abuse of power, three counts of criminal breach of trust and three counts of money laundering.
The 68-year-old, who ruled the country from April 2009 until a shock election defeat in May 2018, was also sentenced to pay a fine of 210 million ringgit.
Najib denies all charges and claims that the funds transferred to his accounts were a gift from a Saudi prince.
The Court of Appeal postponed the execution of the sentence pending the former leader’s last-ditch Federal Court appeal, according to state news outlet Bernama.
The 1MDB corruption plot came to light in 2015, when a media investigation exposed the multi-billion dollar diversion from the state fund to the private accounts of Najib, founder of the fund and then prime minister of Malaysia. EFE