Daily Dhaka Online
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was convicted Tuesday for his involvement in crimes of looting multibillion-dollar of a Malaysian state investment fund that brought him down in a shocking election ouster two years ago.
Najib, the first Malaysian leader convicted, vowed to appeal against the verdict that could bring many years in prison, reports AP.
Political analysts said the ruling would reinforce the prosecution’s case in Najib’s other trials and would signal to the business community the Malaysia’s legal system has strength in tackling international financial crimes.
Judge Mohamad Nazlan Ghazali said: “I find the accused guilty and convict the accused of all seven charges.”
He spent two hours to read out an elaborate ruling while some of Najib’s supporters waited outside the court house and cried when they learned of the verdict.
Najib, 67, faces between 15 and 20 years plus hefty fines for each of the seven charges.
The former PM has said that he was misled by rogue bankers and the case against him is political.
On late Monday, Najib wrote on Facebook, “I want justice. I want to clear my name. After this, we will go to the Court of Appeal. I am ready.”
Najibe faces 42 charges in five separate trials and could face years in prison. His lawyers asked the judge to delay their arguments on sentencing until next week.
Najib was accused of using his position to receive a bribe for approving a government guarantee for billions in loans to SRC, committing criminal breach of trust and accepting proceeds from unlawful activities.
Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow with Singapore’s Institute of International Affairs, said “The conviction would serve as a solid foundation for the prosecution in ensuing IMDB-related trials.”
Najib’s party is the biggest bloc in the current Malay nationalist alliance that has governed thin majority in parliament since March.
Analyst Bridget Welsh, honorary research associate with University of Nottingham Malaysia, said “The ruling was absolutely good for Malaysia.”
“I think that there is a sense of euphoria among the citizens that justice is being served, among the majority of Malaysians,” Welsh said.