Crime & Justice

Malaysia halves ex-PM Najib’s jail term in multibillion-dollar 1MDB scandal

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 2 (EFE).- The Malaysian Pardons Board said on Friday that it reduced the 12-year jail term of former prime minister Najib Razak by half and sharply cut the fine imposed on him in connection with a multibillion-dollar corruption case in 2020.

The board said the decision was made during a meeting on Monday chaired by Malaysia’s former king, Sultan Tengku Abdullah, who abdicated the throne on Wednesday per the country’s five-year rotating monarchy system, passing the reins to Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar.

Najib was jailed in 2022 for his involvement in several multibillion-dollar corruption cases related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state-owned development fund he established in 2009 to attract foreign investment.

With the sentence commuted, Najib is now set to be released on an earlier date, Aug. 23, 2028, the board said.

The former prime minister’s fine has also been reduced from 210 million ringgit ($44.5 million) to 50 million ringgit ($10.5 million).

However, if Najib fails to pay the fine, his jail term will be extended by another year, and he will be released in August 2029, the board said.

Najib was found guilty in 2020 of at least seven corruption cases related to 1MDB, including the transfer of 42 million ringgit from SRC International, a subsidiary of 1MDB, into his personal bank accounts in 2014 and 2015.

The 1MDB-related corruption scandal came to light through investigative media reports in 2015, during Najib’s tenure as Malaysian prime minister.

Those investigations revealed that Najib and his associates had transferred $4.5 billion from the Malaysian state investment fund to their private accounts.

Besides Malaysia, other countries, including the United States, Switzerland, and Singapore, are also investigating the misappropriation of the fund, which also implicated celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Miranda Kerr, who reportedly received gifts funded by money obtained from 1MDB. EFE

sh-pav/bks

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