It is rather historical to see Najib Razak, at one time one of the most powerful men in the country escorted away to prison after a long, delayed and tiring court case that started back in 2018. It is a weird feeling considering that there is no precedent to see an ex-Prime Minister found guilty and imprisoned for criminal acts. Image source: NST.
Read these first:-
- Crime 101: Court Of Appeal & Najib’s Case – Failure of Check & Balance System
- Crime 101: Sarawak Report Expose on 1MDB
- World News 101: All About FinCEN Leaked Files
- National Security 101: Extradition Of Criminals Internationally
- Malaysia 101: Dr Mahathir – Democracy in Malaysia is Dead
Najib has 5 major court cases on his head starting with this SRC International case which sees him being charged with several accounts of breach of law which will see him spending 12 years in prison. Infographic source: The Malay Mail
Federal Court’s Decision
The case against Najib actually started at the Sessions Court on 4th July 2018 and on 28th July 2020, the High Court found Najib guilty and sentenced him to 12 years of imprisonment and an RM210 million fine.
The Court of Appeal on 8th December 2021 upheld the High Court’s decision. The matter then went to appeal at the Federal Court where the decision was made on 23rd August 2022.
Malaysian ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak has begun a 12-year prison sentence after losing his final appeal in a corruption case linked to the looting of the 1MDB state fund, with the country’s top court unanimously upholding his conviction and sentence.
Najib became Malaysia’s first former leader to be imprisoned when he was whisked away on Tuesday to the Kajang prison on the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur after the verdict.
The five-member Federal Court panel said it found the High Court’s decision was correct and that Najib’s appeal was “devoid of any merits”.’
“This is a simple and straightforward case of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering,” said Chief Justice Maimun Tuan Mat, who read out the verdict.
“We are unable to conclude that any of the findings of the High Court, as affirmed by the Court of Appeal, were perverse or plainly wrong so as to warrant appellate intervention. We agree that the defence is so inherently inconsistent and incredible that it does not raise a reasonable doubt on the prosecution case,” she said.
The court ordered Najib, who has been out on bail pending appeals since his sentence in 2020, to begin his time behind bars.
He also must pay a 210 million Malaysian ringgit ($47m) fine.
Najib appeared in shock after the verdict was read. He was immediately surrounded by his family and supporters. His lawyer later told reporters they may seek a review of the court’s decision.
(Source: Al Jazeera)
Kudos to the Federal Court judges who did not allow any room for the delay in this long outstanding case. The evidence against Najib was so overwhelming that all 9 judges in 3 different courts found him guilty of all charges. Image source: Twitter
Billion Dollar Whale Authors’ Tweets
Interestingly we had great tweets from the award-winning journalists, Tom Wright & Bradley Hope who actually did the investigation for Wall Street Journal & first broke the scandal before it started to attract momentum with the opposition in the country. Their investigations on the 1MDB scandal have been recorded in a book titled “Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World” (a very fascinating read!)
In all the years covering Najib, his 2014 trip to a Chanel store in the Ala Moana Center best captures his nature. He was visiting Obama in Hawaii, but had to go home to Malaysia because of floods. His wife was angry for cutting her holiday short…
— Tom Wright (@TomWrightAsia) August 23, 2022
Hard to believe that it's been seven years since I started working with @TomWrightAsia on the 1MDB scandal. We were taken aback at just how big it became. The Goldman settlement was big, but this is the only one that has truly mattered so far.https://t.co/h1Fmnu2rT4 #malaysia
— Bradley Hope (@bradleyhope) August 23, 2022
Pardon Petition To King?
Obviously, now that Najib has been sent to prison and had exhausted all his appeals in the courts, the only avenue for him to avoid long-term imprisonment is to get the King’s pardon. Although the process for King’s pardon will require Najib to spend a substantial time in prison. Given his imprisonment time, he will need at least 6 years of prison terms before he can be eligible for any royal pardon.
And yet, there is already a petition on the internet by BERSIH (The Coalition for Clean And Fair Elections):-
Petition to His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
Najib Razak has just been found guilty by the country’s highest court but some parties are already thinking of applying for royal pardon from DYMM YDP Agong. We cannot let this happen. Sign this petition to submit to YDP Agong.
We, your loyal subjects, humbly appeal to Your Majesty, not to exercise your discretion to pardon former Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak for his crime against the Malaysian public. He has been convicted of stealing public funds in the SRC International case and had been given due process of a fair trial.
As the Rakyat, we had to suffer the impact of corruption by elected officials who enriched themselves with our national wealth instead of using it to develop this country.
Even if Najib had no shame for what he has done, we the Rakyat had to live with the indignity of being known for the world’s largest case of kleptocracy.
With all our hearts we appeal to Your Majesty to consider our request to deny any appeal for pardon by Najib, who has brought shame to this country. As a nation, we must not tolerate corruption or the corrupt, whoever that person may be. Let Najib serve his 12 years in jail and pay the RM210 millions fine so as to serve as an example to any leaders who think they can corruptly abuse their position of authority.
Your Majesty, help us to uplift our heads high once again, to make us proud again as Malaysians.
At the point of this blog post, almost 85,000 signatures have been recorded and the number is still growing.
The SRC International case is not the only case that Najib is facing as the defendant. The next is the 1MDB case where he is facing a total of 25 charges and there are another 3 more court cases that he needs to attend. Image source: Malay Mail
One of the promises that Dr M said once Pakatan Harapan won the last general elections is that the new government will uphold the rule of the law. And that meant all the wrongdoings that were done in the past but the culprits yet to be booked will be investigated and charged in courts. And this extended to the corrupt public servants who had helped corrupt politicians to steal and abuse powers. He cautioned that heads will roll and certain heads rolled indeed.
Najib being the centre of corruption namely the 1MDB scandal was one of the first to be formally charged and it has been more than 4 years before he was formally sent to prison. There are other ongoing court cases involving Zahid Hamidi and also Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor and most seem to indicate that they too will go to prison if there is no political interference.
Despite the fact that a backdoor government led by Ismail Sabri from UMNO is in power, in most parts, there have been little political interferences from his government. The country is indeed moving in the right direction for a major reset but a greater urgency must be imposed as the scandals uncovered may just be the tip of the iceberg.
For that Pakatan Harapan must once again regain the control of the government to ensure a complete cleanup of the system from bottom to top. Corruption has become a norm in the country and scandals after scandals seem to be nothing new for the country. This needs to stop. One needs to see the very act of corruption as filth to the general society and all who dare to commit corruption, or abuse of power will be too afraid to commit these acts.
In the meantime, Najib still has a long way to go, both on the SRC International conviction and other active court cases regarding 1MDB. He is in prison and this itself is a good example for those who dare to rob the country for their own selfish agenda.