Apex court upholds Najib's conviction, orders him to go to jail at once

Noel Achariam

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak is escorted to Kajang prison outside the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, August 23, 2022.

THE Federal Court has quashed Najib Razak’s appeal and upheld his sentence in the SRC International case.

The apex court ordered the Pekan lawmaker to begin his 12-year jail sentence immediately.

In addition to this, the former prime minister will have to pay a RM210 million fine in default of another five years of imprisonment.

The five-person apex court bench was chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat. The other Federal Court bench members were Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and senior judges P Nallini, Mary Lim Thiam Suan, and Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah.

On July 28, 2020, then High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who has since been elevated to the Court of Appeal, sentenced Najib to 10 years in prison on each of the three counts of criminal breach of trust and each of the three counts of money laundering, and 12 years in prison and a RM210 million fine, in default of five years in prison, in the case of abuse of power.

Last year, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision and dismissed Najib’s appeal to set aside his conviction and sentence.

A Najib Razak supporter cries outside the courthouse. The former PM failed in his appeal to have his conviction overturned. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Afif Abd Halim, August 23, 2022.

Tengku Maimun in her broad grounds said having pored through the evidence, the submissions and the rest of the records of appeal, it was found that Najib’s complaints as contained in the petition of appeal were devoid of any merit. 

“On the totality of the evidence, we find the conviction of the appellant on all seven charges safe. We also find that the sentence imposed is not manifestly excessive.

“These appeals are therefore unanimously dismissed and the conviction and sentence are affirmed,” she said.

She noted that it would have been a travesty of justice of the highest order if any reasonable tribunal, faced with such evidence staring it in the face, were to find Najib not guilty of the seven charges against him.

In ordering Najib to serve his jail term immediately, Justice Tengku Maimun said, “I pronounce the warrant of committal.”

Najib is expected to serve his sentence at the Kajang prison.

Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor waves to her husband's supporters. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Afif Abd Halim, August 23, 2022.

The hearing of Najib’s appeal began on Aug 18, after the Federal Court spent last Monday and Tuesday hearing his motion for leave to adduce fresh evidence to show that High Court Judge Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ought not to have presided over the trial due to an alleged “serious conflict of interest.”

The court dismissed the application.

Following this, Najib’s new lead lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik sought to recuse himself from representing Najib but his request was turned down by the court and it directed the prosecution to submit.

Then Hisyam last Friday told the panel that Najib had discharged his solicitors, Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew & Partners, from representing him. Hisyam and Zaid were appointed by Najib on July 25 to replace his earlier team led by Shafee Abdullah. - August 23, 2022.


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