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No review for ex-PM Najib as Malaysia’s highest court upholds 12-year jail sentence

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Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak has been sent to jail to begin serving a 12-year sentence after the top court rejected his final bid for a review of his conviction. The 69-year-old’s charges relate to a corruption scandal involving state-owned wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Najib was found guilty in 2020 of seven charges of corruption for illegally receiving $9.4 million from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB. He was the country’s first former leader to be imprisoned.

He had appealed against his conviction and sentence, but the Federal Court upheld them in August 2022 and ordered him to start serving his jail term immediately. Najib then sought a review of the decision, claiming he had been denied a fair trial.

But on Friday, a new panel of five judges at the Federal Court dismissed his application in a majority judgment, saying he was “the author of his own misfortune” and that there was “no failure of justice”.

Najib was born into Malaysia’s political elite. His father was the country’s second prime minister and his uncle was the third. He became prime minister in 2009 as a reformer but his term was tainted by the 1MDB scandal that sparked investigations in the United States and several other countries and caused his government’s downfall in 2018 general elections.

Investigators allege at least $4.5 billion was stolen from the 1MDB fund, set up shortly after Najib took power, and laundered by Najib’s associates.

Najib still faces dozens of charges in several separate trials linked to 1MDB. His wife, Rosmah Mansor, was also sentenced to 10 years in jail for a separate corruption case and is out on bail pending appeal.

Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak has been sent to jail to begin serving a 12-year sentence after the top court rejected his final bid for a review of his conviction. The 69-year-old’s charges relate to a corruption scandal involving state-owned wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Najib was found guilty in 2020 of seven charges of corruption for illegally receiving $9.4 million from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB. He was the country’s first former leader to be imprisoned.

He had appealed against his conviction and sentence, but the Federal Court upheld them in August 2022 and ordered him to start serving his jail term immediately. Najib then sought a review of the decision, claiming he had been denied a fair trial.

But on Friday, a new panel of five judges at the Federal Court dismissed his application in a majority judgement, saying he was “the author of his own misfortune” and that there was “no failure of justice”.

Najib was born into Malaysia’s political elite. His father was the country’s second prime minister and his uncle was the third. He became prime minister in 2009 as a reformer but his term was tainted by the 1MDB scandal that sparked investigations in the United States and several other countries and caused his government’s downfall in 2018 general elections.

Investigators allege at least $4.5 billion was stolen from the 1MDB fund, set up shortly after Najib took power, and laundered by Najib’s associates.

Najib still faces dozens of charges in several separate trials linked to 1MDB. His wife, Rosmah Mansor, was also sentenced to 10 years in jail for a separate corruption case and is out on bail pending appeal.

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