Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak has been found guilty of all seven charges in the first of several multi-million dollar corruption trials.
Razak had pleaded not guilty to the charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power. The case against Razak , in office from 2009 to 2018, was widely seen as a test of Malaysia’s anti-corruption efforts.
The 1MDB scandal around a state-owned wealth fund in Malaysia has uncovered a global web of fraud and corruption. This has sent shockwaves through Malaysia’s political establishment, leading to the toppling of Razak’s UMNO party, which had governed the country for 61 years since it gained independence.
He could now face decades in jail – but expected to remain out of prison until appeal are exhausted.
“After considering all evidence in this trial, I find that the prosecution has successfully proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Judge Mohamad Naziah Mohamad Ghazali to the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Just before the hearing, Razak has said he would fight on until the end and vowed to appeal against any guilty verdicts against him.
“This is my chance to clear my name,” he wrote in a statement.
The verdict is centred on 42 million ringgit ($10) transferred from the fund to the then-prime minister’s private accounts. Razak has denied all wrongdoing and says he was misled by financial advisers.