Nepal | August 04, 2020

Malaysian ex-PM Najib in court to face verdict in first 1MDB case

REUTERS
Share Now:

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak arrived at a Kuala Lumpur court on Tuesday to hear a verdict in the first of several trials he faces over a multi-billion dollar graft scandal at 1MDB, a state fund he founded.

Najib, who was voted out in a historic 2018 election, faces dozens of criminal charges over allegations that $4.5 billion was stolen from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Prosecutors allege more than $1 billion of the funds made its way into his personal accounts.

A Malaysian high court will deliver a verdict in the first case over seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power against Najib for allegedly illegally receiving nearly $10 million from former 1MDB unit SRC International. He has plead not guilty.

Court proceedings are expected to start at 0200 GMT.

The former premier arrived in court to shouts of “long live Najib” by hundreds of supporters who had gathered outside.

Wearing a mask and flanked by top leaders of his party, Najib offered prayers just outside the courtroom.

“This is my chance to clear my name,” Najib said in a Facebook post on Monday night.

“Whatever the decision tomorrow at the high court, it does not end here,” he said, adding that both sides would appeal any decision at the federal court.

Najib’s lawyers say he was misled by Malaysian financier Jho Low and other 1MDB officials into believing that the funds banked into his accounts were donated by the Saudi royal family, rather than misappropriated from SRC as prosecutors have alleged. Low denies wrongdoing.

If convicted, the former premier could be punished with hefty fines and jail terms of up to 15 or 20 years on each charge.

It is unclear if he will be sentenced immediately if found guilty. His lawyers have said sentencing could be delayed or suspended due to the complex nature of the case.

The implementation of the sentence can also be stayed if Najib pursues an appeal at the federal court.

Allegations of corruption over 1MDB have hung over Najib for more than five years. But the criminal charges came only after his defeat in the 2018 election when his successor Mahathir Mohamad reopened investigations.

The closely-watched case is seen as a test of Malaysia’s efforts to root out corruption, after Najib’s party was returned to power in February as part of an alliance led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

The verdict could have far reaching political implications.

A guilty verdict could boost Muhyiddin’s credibility with the public, but weaken his coalition, which counts Najib’s United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) as its biggest component – and potentially trigger snap polls.

An acquittal could turn public sentiment against Muhyiddin, and encourage the opposition to challenge the ruling coalition’s two-seat majority in parliament.

The court’s decision comes just days after Malaysia reached a $3.9 billion deal with Goldman Sachs over its role in helping 1MDB raise money.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 246 new infections, 111 recovered, one death reported today

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on the coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. As of today, 391,270 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method have been carried out, Read More...

Two Indian nationals out of contact after testing positive for COVID-19 in Butwal

BHAIRAHAWA: Two persons, who had submitted their swab samples to test for coronavirus infection through PCR method, have gone missing after testing positive for the disease on Sunday. They were receiving consultation at the Fever Clinic in Lumbini Provincial Hospital in Butwal Sub-Metropolitan City. Read More...

Dharan municipality to carry out PCR tests in community level

DHARAN: Keeping in mind the rising number of coronavirus infection cases, Dharan Sub-metropolitan City has decided to carryout polymerese chain reaction (PCR) test in community level to control the spread of contagion in the area. According to Mayor Tilak Rai, in order to prevent the virus from s Read More...

NASA astronauts make historic return home aboard SpaceX capsule

US astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who flew to the International Space Station in SpaceX's new Crew Dragon, splashed down in the capsule in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday after a two-month voyage that was NASA's first crewed mission from home soil in nine years. Behnken and Hurley, Read More...

Media urged to refrain from brewing controversy over court verdict, order

Media criticism of verdicts erodes faith in the judiciary Kathmandu, August 2 Nepal Bar Association today issued a press release urging media outlets to maintain restraint about court verdicts. It also said a court should not pass an order or a verdict that creates controversy. “NBA’s ser Read More...

TUTH. Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj

COVID patient recovers after plasma therapy

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 2 Plasma therapy was used for the first time in the country to successfully treat a 60-year-old coronavirus patient, in Kathmandu, earlier this week. The procedure was performed at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj. “The patient, a resident of Biratnagar, Read More...

Call to grant rights to reopen schools to local levels

Kathmandu, August 2 The government has been advised to come up with a procedure to pass on the right to reopen schools that have remained closed due to the COVID-19, to respective local governments and schools. While Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is preparing to bring a work pr Read More...

‘People’s voice will be suppressed if journalists lose their jobs’

Kaski, August 2 President of Federation of Nepali Journalists Govinda Acharya said actions such as relieving journalists of their jobs, providing half salary and exerting pressure on them to stay on leave without payment would suppress the voice of the people. During an interaction here today, Read More...