Jailed Malaysian ex-PM Najib loses bid for review of graft conviction

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s top court on Friday dismissed a bid by jailed former prime minister Najib Razak to seek a review of his corruption conviction over the multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB.

Najib was jailed last year after Malaysia’s Federal Court upheld a guilty verdict and 12-year prison sentence handed down to him by a lower court.

This was Najib’s last chance to challenge the verdict in court. Najib has also applied for a pardon from Malaysia’s king. If successful, he could be released without serving the full 12-year term.

Investigators have said about US$4.5 billion was stolen from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) – co-founded by Najib during his first year as prime minister in 2009 – and that more than US$1 billion went to accounts linked to Najib.

Najib, 69, was charged after he lost a general election in 2018.

He was found guilty by a high court in 2020 of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering for illegally receiving about $10 million from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB. He lost all his appeals.

The former premier has consistently pleaded not guilty.

Last month, Najib was acquitted of audit tampering in a separate case linked to 1MDB. He remains on trial in three other cases related to graft at the fund and other government agencies.

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