Kuala Lampur, Malaysia – Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak has been jailed for 12 years after a high court of the country found him guilty on all seven counts in the first of several multi-million dollar corruption trials.
The 1MDB scandal around a state-owned wealth fund in Malaysia uncovered a global web of fraud and corruption, which sent shockwaves through Malaysia’s political establishment, leading to the toppling of Najib’s UMNO party, which had governed the country for 61 years since it gained independence.
Najib pled not guilty to the charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power. The case against him is seen as a test of Malaysia’s anti-corruption efforts.
However, despite being found guilty, Najib is expected to remain out of prison until appeals are exhausted. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for abuse of power, and 10 years in jail for each of six counts of money laundering and breach of trust, of which the sentences are to run concurrently.
“After considering all evidence in this trial, I find that the prosecution has successfully proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohamad Ghazali told the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Ahead of the hearing, Najib said he would fight on until the end, vowing to appeal against any guilty verdicts against him. “This is my chance to clear my name,” he wrote in a statement on Facebook.