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Making sense of Najib's SRC trial

Making sense of Najib's SRC trial
The questions on everyone's mind is when will Najib serve his sentence and the answer is not that simple. - Filepic/BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak was found guilty of all charges in the first of the many series of cases relating to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.

Background

On Tuesday (28 July), The High Court has sentenced Najib to 12 years jail and a fine of RM210 million
after he was found guilty of all seven charges of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in relation to the RM42 million SRC International funds.

Najib was sentenced the jail term and fine for one account related to the abuse of power under Section
23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) 2009.
For three counts of criminal breach of trust under Section 409 of the Penal Code, he was sentenced
to 10 years each of jail time and another three counts of money laundering under Section 4(1)(b) of Anti-Money Laundering Act, Anti-Terrorism Financing Act and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act, another 10 years each.

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ruled that the defence had failed to raise any doubt against the
prosecution's case on all the charges.
He ordered for all jail sentences to run concurrently which means Najib will serve 12 years in prison.

An additional five years will be ordered if he fails to pay the fine.

Why it matters?

It has been a long-standing battle, nearly a 100-day trial and a total of 66 witnesses called to testify.

Prosecutors had argued that Najib played a direct role in diverting a sum of RM42 million from the SRC
International fund into his personal bank accounts, which was later used to for political funding and purchases of luxury items.

Najib had maintained that he had never demanded nor was he aware of such a transaction.

His involvement in the scandal, however, has caused him more than just what he was sentenced for. In the
2018 election, Najib was voted out by Malaysians who were angered over the corruption scandal, a historic moment that witnessed the fall of the longest standing ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

Only two years later, Najib became the first former prime minister in the nation’s history to be convicted of a crime by the court.

Pakatan Harapan and opposition leader had told CNBC that the verdict signals a renewed hope for
Malaysians who were upset with the recent political development and that finally, the voice of the people is heard.

What’s next?

The questions on everyone’s mind is when will Najib serve his sentence and the answer is not that simple.

According to prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram, if all goes as planned, it might take up to a year before
Najib will have to face the prospect of his sentence.

The defence was granted a stay of execution, which would allow him to avoid jail time pending an appeal
to the Court of Appeal.  Najib, however, was ordered to pay a bail of RM1 million on top of the RM1 million he already paid when he was charged in 2018. He made the payment today.

He was also ordered to report to a police station on the first and 15th of every month.

Najib’s lead defence lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, is confident that his side has the
upper hand to win the appeal as the judge was quoted to have made “various mistakes”. He claimed that the only thing Najib is guilty of is “overtrusting people”.

Another case related to the 1MDB scandal money laundering of RM27mil from SRC International Sdn Bhd
will commence on July 5 next year.

As for his role as thePekan Member of Parliament (MP), based on Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution, a Member of Parliament will be disqualified if he/she is sentenced to more than one year in prison or a fine of more than RM2,000 and does not receive a pardon.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, however, has said that he could still carry out his duties
until the process of appeal is completed.


Tag: former prime minister, Najib Razak, SRC International, 1MDB, 1MDB scandal, 1Malaysia Development Bhd, MACC



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