The Supreme Court of Malaysia Friday refused to review its 2022 decision to uphold the conviction of former Prime Minister Najib Razak for graft and a 12-year prison term, saying he was “their misfortune”.
A five-member federal court unanimously rejected his final appeal in August in a case linked to the looting of state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, sending Najib straight to jail to start serving his sentence. But Najib sought a review to overturn the decision, saying he was being denied a fair trial.
A new Federal Court panel has refused to confirm Najib in a majority ruling. This effectively closed the lid on the case, which means that Najib will have to serve his sentence. If he had won a review, he could have been released on bail pending a new appeal hearing.
Najib was savage when the verdict was read.
Four out of five justices said they found no “failure to do justice”. They rejected defense arguments that there was a conflict of interest by the judge who convicted him, Najib was not given enough time for his new lawyer to prepare for the case, and he was not allowed to cite new evidence. The justices said the former federal court bench applied the laws correctly.
“In this matter, respectfully, we are obliged to say that the applicant is the author of his misfortune,” said Justice Vernon Ong.
Judge Abd al-Rahman al-Sibli disagreed, saying that there must be confidence in the administration of justice. He spent more than an hour explaining why he saw a miscarriage of justice in handling the final appeal last year.
Subsequently, the Chief Prosecutor F.
“This trial has shown that no man is above the law,” he said, adding that it should send a “chilling message” that the law will catch up to all offenders.
But defense lawyer Mohamed Shafei Abdullah said it was “not the end of the matter yet”.
Al-Shafei said that while the defense team was deeply disappointed, the strong dissenting referee opened the possibility of a new review. He noted that Abdul Rahman had even proposed an acquittal rather than a retrial on the grounds that Najib was not given a fair trial. El Shafei declined to give more details about Najib’s next move.
While further review of the case is possible, Seethambaram said it is unlikely.
educated people in Britain Najib was born into the political elite of Malaysia. His father was the country’s second prime minister and his uncle was the third.
He became prime minister in 2009 as a reformer, but his tenure was marred by the 1MDB scandal that sparked investigations in the US and several other countries and caused his government to fall in the 2018 general election.
Investigators allege that at least $4.5 billion was stolen from the 1MDB fund, set up shortly after Najib came to power, and laundered by Najib’s associates. Najib was convicted in 2020 of seven counts of corruption for illegally receiving $9.4 million from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.
Najib is the country’s first former leader to be imprisoned. He still faces dozens of charges in several separate trials linked to 1MDB. His wife, Rozma Mansoor, was also sentenced to 10 years in prison on a separate charge Corruption case He is out on bail pending appeal.