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Malaysia's Mahathir says 'highly likely' jailed Najib will receive royal pardon

BY Rozanna Latiff and A​​. Ananthalakshmi

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Senior Malaysian politician Mahathir Mohamad said on Thursday he helped to overthrow the disgraced former prime minister. Najib Razak likely to receive royal pardon and release from corruption charges starting this week 12 years in prison .

Mahathir’s historic election victory in 2011 triggered Najib’s downfall, which he said was linked to multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal at state fund 1Malaysia The postponement of various trials of Development Berhad (1MDB) will result in the denial of justice.

Najib was first convicted in 2020 but he appealed to a higher court. On Tuesday, the country’s top court rejected his final appeal, upholding his 12 year in prison and 210 Million Ringgit ($46.42 million) illegally collected from the unit 12 one hundred $10,000 in fines to 1MDB.

“For Najib, it is likely to be pardoned when in jail”, 22 -Year-Old said in a statement.

He did not elaborate.

King Sultan Abdullah’s palace received a pardon petition from Najib’s supporters a day earlier, but did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Mahathir’s remarks.

Najib is believed to be close to some members of the Malaysian royal family, and in May, social media posts of Najib showed him attending Eid al-Fitr celebrations with the king.

However, so far there is no indication of how the palace will respond to any request for a pardon from Najib, who was in power for nine years before 2018 .

There is no indication yet how Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob will view the pardon for his old party leader as he seeks to restore the ruling Malay nation Image of United Group (UMNO).

At the state fund 210 he co-founded, Najib returned to court on Thursday Accept hearings for the largest cases.

He was taken from the Kajang Prison in the southeast of the capital to the Kuala Lumpur High Court in a heavily guarded black police car and taken to the courtroom through a private entrance.

The hearing began with Najib sitting in the dock wearing a dark suit and tie.

The charges against him in this case include 12 money laundering and four counts of abuse Power allegedly received at least 2.3 billion ringgit ($2003. 93 of Illegal transfers million) between 2011 and 2014.

Najib faces three more

US$4.5 billion stolen from 1MDB, investigators in Malaysia and the US say, in a scandal that has implicated global financial institutions and senior executives officials. More than $1 billion was traced to Najib’s bank account.

The former prime minister is also facing bankruptcy without a pardon, which will prevent him from running.

Najib denies any wrongdoing and portrays himself as the victim of a political vendetta by his former mentor.

Mahathir was already Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister when

first retired at the helm 12 years later. He campaigned for Najib and Umno during the 2013 election, but turned against his former protege as the scale of corruption in 1MDB began to emerge.

An opposition coalition unlikely to share the same bed, nine-year-old Mahathir defeated the Umno-led coalition to remove it from power for the first time since Malaysia was founded six years ago.

As Prime Minister, Mahathir reopens investigation into 1MDB, leading to Najib facing a total of 42 cost. Mahathir then resigned amid political turmoil as his coalition disintegrated.

($1 = 4.4800 Ringgit)



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