Najib headed for 12 years in jail as apex court upholds graft conviction

A file photo of Najib Tun Razak. Photo credit: Najib Razak Facebook

KUCHING, Aug 23: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has lost his final graft conviction appeal today and is due to spend 12 years in prison after the Federal Court upheld the earlier verdicts by the High Court and Court of Appeal.

According to reports from news portals The Star and New Straits Times, the five-member Federal Court panel chaired by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat after examining the merit of the main appeal in great detail unanimously ruled that the judgement of the High Court was right.

“The defence is so inherently inconsistent that it failed to raise reasonable doubt… the conviction is safe on all seven charges and the sentence is not unanimously excessive.

“These appeals are therefore unanimously dismissed and the conviction and sentence are affirmed. I pronounce the warrant of committal,” she said in the proceeding.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court had found Najib guilty of misappropriating RM42 million of SRC International funds and ordered him to be jailed for 12 years and RM210 million fine for the seven charges he faced.

He was convicted and sentenced by the then High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

Just before the court delivered the verdict, Najib sought permission to address the panel where he protested against the failure to get adjournment to delay the appeal and that he felt that he was not accorded a fair trial.

Najib pleaded for two months’ time to be given for his lawyers to prepare.

He also drew the court’s attention to a leak of grounds of judgement circulated on a website in which he argued that it demanded an explanation and answer because if it was true, “this judicial misconduct is of the highest order”.

The Chief Justice then said that Najib’s lawyers have refused to submit any new arguments when being asked to and as such, there were no more proceedings to adjourn.

The other judges on the panel were the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, Datuk P Nallini, Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan and Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah.

Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and family members as well as Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were among those present in court to hear the outcome. — DayakDaily