Malaysian ex-PM Najib found guilty over 1MDB scandal

28, Jul. 2020

Photo by Carles Rabada on Unsplash
Photo by Carles Rabada on Unsplash

KUALA LUMPUR, Kyodo - A Malaysian court found former Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak guilty on multiple charges on Tuesday in the first of a series of trials over a multibillion dollar corruption scandal involving state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

The verdict against Najib, 67, concerned the transfer of money totaling 42 million ringgit ($9.9 million) from a former 1MDB unit to his private bank accounts between December 2014 and February 2015, when he was prime minister.

Najib was ousted from power in 2018 after the alleged plunder of some $4.5 billion from 1MDB came to light.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court convicted him of three counts of money laundering, three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power. He had pleaded not guilty to all seven counts.

"I find that the prosecution has successfully proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt," Judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohamad Ghazali said. "I therefore find the accused guilty...on all seven charges."

The case concerning SRC International Sdn. Bhd., the former 1MDB unit, was the first of five trials Najib is facing. He faces a total of 42 charges linked to 1MDB, which was created soon after he became prime minister in 2009.

Najib was arrested by Malaysia's anti-corruption agency in July 2018, following a general election in May that year that led to his predecessor and one-time mentor Mahathir Mohamad returning to the premiership. (Kyodo)