Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has become the first high ranking leader of malaysia to be convicted of a crime, a move his supporters across the country referred to as “political vengeance”.
Prime Minister Najib Razak was found guilty today in a Kuala Lumpur High Court in a graft case involving the theft of billions of dollars from a state fund, 1MDB.
Najib was accused of diverting about $9.88 Million from SRC International, a unit of IMDB into his personal bank accounts, abuse of power and money laundering.
Delivering the judgement in court on Tuesday, Judge Mohamad Nazlan Ghazali said, “I find that the prosecution has successfully proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. I therefore find the accused guilty and convict the accused on all seven charges.”
The charges leveled against Prime Minister Najib include several counts of money laundering and abuse of trust. Najib’s charges include a sentence of whipping, but considering his age, he will likely be spared that punishment.
The court said the defense lawyers failed to prove that Najib wasnt guilty of approving loans which he later benefited from while acting as a finance minister.
Six days ago, the High Court ordered Prime Minister to pay $400 Million in unpaid taxes and penalties spanning 2011 to 2017.
Thousands of Najib’s supporters thronged the premises of the High Court earlier today to show their support for the former Prime Minster. They chanted “political vengeance” when news reached the outside of the courtroom that Najib was convicted.
Supporters cried and wailed while shouting “long live my boss!”
The opposition political party however welcomed the news of the conviction. An opposition legislator who played a major role in exposing Najib’s dealings told Al Jazeera that, “”After months of depressing news when the mandate of the people in 2018 was robbed by those who betrayed their trust, today, Malaysians look to celebrate as the judiciary demonstrates its teeth and impartiality.”
The Premier’s sentencing was however delayed until Monday due to a plea from the defence team. The Prime Minister spoke to his supporters outside the court after the proceedings. He insisted he didn’t authorise the SRC payments, neither was he aware of it.