Malaysia court rejects Najib bid to review graft conviction

Former Malaysian prime minister claimed he did not receive a fair hearing, alleging that a judge had a conflict of interest

By AFP

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Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak gets into a car after his court appearance at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. AP file
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak gets into a car after his court appearance at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. AP file

Published: Fri 31 Mar 2023, 10:56 AM

Last updated: Fri 31 Mar 2023, 10:58 AM

Malaysia's top court on Friday rejected ex-leader Najib Razak's bid to overturn his 12-year jail sentence for corruption, slamming the door on a political comeback.

The former prime minister had asked the Federal Court to review a previous panel's decision to deny his final appeal against the conviction, linked to the plunder of state investment fund 1MDB.


Najib, 69, claimed he did not receive a fair hearing, alleging that a judge had a conflict of interest, and that his new legal team was not allowed enough time to study the case documents.

But the Federal Court on Friday dismissed the challenge.


"There has been no prejudice and no failure of justice," said judge Vernon Ong Lam Kiat.

He will continue to serve his 12-year jail sentence for abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust over the transfer of 42 million ringgit ($10.1 million) from former 1MDB unit SRC International to his personal bank account.

Najib, who has been in prison since August, appeared dejected as the decision was read out.

Earlier, he had arrived in court escorted by prison guards, and was greeted by dozens of supporters.

His wife Rosmah Mansor, who was found guilty of graft last year, also attended the proceedings.

Najib also faces dozens more charges which could lengthen his jail time.

Most of them are related to his alleged role in the 1MDB scandal, which led to money laundering investigations around the world, including in the United States, Switzerland and Singapore.

The allegations that billions of dollars were pilfered from 1MDB -- and used to buy everything from a superyacht to a Monet painting -- played a major role in Najib's ouster and the defeat of his long-ruling party in the 2018 elections.



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