Malaysian supreme court upholds jail sentence for ex-leader Najib

Bangkok, Mar 31 (EFE).- Malaysia’s supreme court ratified Friday the sentence against former Prime Minister Najib Razak to 12 years in prison for seven crimes of corruption related to the plot of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund, a scandal with international ramifications.

In a decision by majority (four magistrates in favor against one against), the court rejected the former prime minister’s last appeal, guilty of the diversion of MYR 42 million ($9.5 million) from SRC International, a subsidiary of 1MDB, to their bank accounts, according to public news agency Bernama.

In this trial, the politician, who accumulated sentences against him for other processes related to 1MDB, was found guilty of one count of abuse of power, three of breach of trust and three of money laundering.

Najib, who has been serving his sentence in prison since last year, only has as a last resort to request a pardon from the Malaysian Royal House.

This is the second final sentence against Najib by the 1MDB, after the ratification in August 2022 by the highest court of another sentence for the misappropriation of MYR 27 million of SRC, while three processes are still pending on appeal.

The 1MDB corruption scheme came to light in 2015, when a journalistic investigation exposed the multibillion-dollar siphoning from the state investment fund into the private accounts of Najib, founder of the fund and then-head of the Malaysian government.

According to investigations, Najib and his associates diverted $ 4.5 billion from the investment arm of the Malaysian state to their private accounts.

The politician allegedly appropriated some MYR 2.6 billion, as reported in a joint work by the Sarawak Report portal and The Wall Street Journal.

Najib created 1MDB in 2009 to attract foreign investment and create a financial district in Kuala Lumpur, but the fund ended up accumulating a debt of MYR 42 billion.

In addition to Malaysia, other countries, including the United States, Switzerland and Singapore, are investigating the embezzlement of the fund, which splashed stars including Leonardo DiCaprio and Miranda Kerr, who initially received gifts with money obtained from 1MDB. EFE


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