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Explainer – Behind bars, Malaysia's Najib has few 'get out of jail' cards to play

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was jailed for years starting on Tuesday and is expected to fight for An early release after losing a final appeal in a case related to a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal.

Regardless of Najib’s choice, state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad has four other corruption-related cases (1MDB) and other government agencies that could lead to more jail time and more jail time for the former prime minister. Economic losses.

Review final verdict

Najib, who is Prime Minister from 14 to 2018 Minister of , jailed while his own party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), took power under the new regime

Chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat A five-judge federal court panel dismissed Najib’s appeal of the conviction and sentence. A lower court that strongly advocates the independence of the judiciary.

But Najib can still apply to the Federal Court to review the decision, which will then be reviewed by a new panel of judges.

The threshold for such review is very high, and it is rare for the nation’s Supreme Court to overturn any judgment.

A total of three courts in Malaysia have now found Najib guilty of their comments on the former prime minister’s role since 2018 first charges.

He was convicted of criminal breach of trust, abuse of authority and money laundering for illegally accepting 10 millions of dollars from SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB.

Prosecutors say Najib knew the money he received from SRC International came from illegal activities, while Najib argued that he was misled by fugitive financier Jho Low and other 1MDB officials into believing funds deposited into his account. Funding was donated by the Saudi royal family.

High Court Judge Mohamad Nazlan convicted Najib for the first time in 2020, saying it was “far-fetched” to believe Najib may have been misled . He also described the case as “the worst” abuse of power and corruption.

On Tuesday, Federal Court Chief Justice Tunku Maiwen Tuanma and her colleagues also rejected Najib’s defence, saying they supported the High Court’s decision.

“We agree that the defense is so inconsistent and implausible in nature that it would not raise a reasonable doubt on the prosecution,” they said in their judgment.

Royal Pardon

Najib can also apply for a pardon, which is then reviewed by a “pardon committee” headed by the King of Malaysia. The opinion of the Prime Minister of Malaysia can also be adopted.

The length of the pardon process varies. The royal pardon only applies to criminal cases, not the bankruptcy that Najib also faces.

A full pardon would allow Najib to return to active politics and even become prime minister.

But for now, Tuesday’s verdict keeps him out of the race.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim jailed for three years on charges he says are politically fabricated – days after Najib’s defeat in 2020 Pardoned by the King*) Election.

As the son of a Malay nobleman, Najib is believed to have close ties to a number of sultans in Malaysia who take turns serving as the country’s monarch in a unique system of rotation.

In May, Najib’s social media posts showed him attending Eid al-Fitr celebrations with Sultan Abdullah at the Royal Palace in Pahang, where they all cheered.

Constitutional lawyer New Sin Yew said there was no set time frame for the pardon process, but a petition should be filed as soon as possible after conviction.

If Najib does not submit a pardon application within

days, he will lose his position as lawmaker, New said. Otherwise, he will lose his seat in the parliament, where he has been a lawmaker for 46 years, when the parliament will be dissolved in the next election.

More court cases

Four other cases against Najib will also be jailed and heavily fined.

Investigators say some $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB – co-founded by Najib during 2009 first year as prime minister – more than $1 billion to accounts linked to Najib.

He is also battling bankruptcy. The tax authority served him a bankruptcy notice last year because he owed more than 400 million dollars in total taxes.

If he is declared bankrupt, he will lose his parliamentary seat and the right to run for election.



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