Ex-Malaysian PM Najib found guilty on corruption charges, sentenced 12 years in jail

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Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks to the media before he leaves the court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 28, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was found guilty of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering on Tuesday in a case related to SRC International, a former unit of state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The verdict is the first in several corruption trials against Najib.

The case involves 42 million ringgits (9.9 million U.S. dollars) deposited into Najib's personal bank account from SRC International, in which Najib faced seven charges including criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power.

In the reading out of the ruling, Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ruled that the defence failed to raise reasonable doubt against the prosecution's case, hence he found Najib guilty of all seven charges.

The judge later sentenced Najib to 12 years of jail and 210 million ringgit (49.4 million U.S. dollars) fine for abuse of power; 10 years of jail for each of the three criminal breach of trust; and 10 years of jail for each of the three money laundering. All jail sentences to run concurrently.

Najib will be sentenced to additional 5 years of jail if he fails to pay the fine, said the judge.

But the judge granted an application by the defence on a stay of execution on both jail sentence and the fine pending Najib's appeal, while asking him to pay additional bail and to present himself to police twice a month.

Najib, 67, has pleaded not guilty to the charges and said ahead of the verdict that he would appeal if convicted.

The former prime minister was first prosecuted in July 2018. Last year, Najib entered defence after Judge ruled prosecution has established cases on all seven charges against him.

Najib has been slapped with dozens of charges for corruption, money laundering, power abuse and criminal breach of trust after his ruling coalition lost power during the national polls in May 2018.

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