A landmark verdict was delivered today at the Court of Appeal, as it upheld former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s conviction for embezzling over RM42 million from 1MDB-linked company SRC International (SRC).
Lead judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, in delivering the unanimous verdict, said that Najib “dishonestly misappropriated the money” and that they had “no reason to disagree with the High Court”.
“This is no national interest as the appellant claimed for SRC. This is a national embarrassment,” he was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Reserve.
Najib had previously been convicted on 28 July last year at the High Court on seven charges – one for abuse of power, and three each for criminal breach of trust and money laundering – after more than two years of proceedings.
For those crimes, he was slapped with a 12-year prison sentence, as well as a fine totalling RM210 million.
The appellate court not only reaffirmed that decision, but also made damning findings in relation to another RM4 billion which was diverted to SRC from retiree pension fund KWAP, reported New Straits Times.
“All his actions in relation to the RM4 billion loan was not of national interest but for personal benefit. There was no national interest here,” said the judge.
This SRC trial is one of five separate proceedings that Najib is facing for his involvement in the 1MDB scandal, and there are 42 criminal charges that prosecutors have brought towards him in total.
After having his bid to overturn the conviction denied, Najib still has has one more avenue to appeal, at the Federal Court. If he loses his case there, he will have to immediately serve his sentence.
Meanwhile, the Pekan MP remains a free man pending the Federal Court appeal, with a stay of execution granted as to not prejudice his duty to his constituents, reports Malay Mail.