KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Court of Appeals on Wednesday ( Dec 8) has upheld former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s conviction for the multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB.
Previously the high court found Najib guilty of putting an estimated 42 million ringgit ($9.88m) from SRC International, a division of 1MDB, into his personal bank accounts in July last year, and sentenced him to 12 years in prison.
The appeals court today said it agreed with the High Court’s verdict.
The Appeals court “dismisses Najib’s motion and affirm the conviction on all sentences,” said Judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil who read out the panel’s findings.
The seven charges in the SRC case involve allegations of abuse of power, several counts of money laundering and criminal breach of trust.
Najib Razak had appealed the sentence and all charges, claiming he did not know origin of money that ended up in his personal bank accounts.
However, the court of appeal has agreed Najib should remain free, while he appeals to the Federal Court, Malaysia’s highest court.
Later, in a virtual press conference, Najib said he was disappointed by the 3 judges decision and comments, and he swore he did not know where the money that ended up in his personal bank accounts come from.
“As a Muslim, I have sworn in the name of Allah that I didn’t know, nor did ask, neither direct anyone for the money,” he said.
Judge Abdul commented: “This is not something that can be said to have been done in the national interest. There is no national interest here. Just national embarrassment.”
Political analyst Oh Ei Sun told Al Jazeera, “Najib would face an uphill struggle in convincing the Federal Court in his next appeal to reverse the judgements of both the trial and appellate courts.”
Najib’ s defence team argues that Najib did not know the money was going into his accounts or that it originated from SRC.
They claimed Najib was misled by Malaysian financier Jho Low and other 1MDB officials into believing that the funds in his account were a donation from the Saudi royal family.