PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak will serve his 12-year prison sentence after the Federal Court on Tuesday (Aug 23) upheld the guilty verdict against him in the SRC International case.
The court dismissed Najib’s appeal to overturn the jail term and RM210 million (US$46.8 million) fine over seven charges in the case involving funds from the former unit of 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
The panel said in the grounds of judgment for the final appeal hearing: “On the totality of the evidence, we find the conviction of the appellant on all seven charges safe. We also find that the sentence imposed is not manifestly excessive.
“These appeals are therefore unanimously dismissed and the conviction and sentence are affirmed.”
Najib’s daughter-in-law told the AFP news agency that he was sent to prison shortly after the court upheld his sentence.
“We were told he has been taken to Kajang Prison, south of the capital Kuala Lumpur,” Ms Nur Sharmila Shaheen said to AFP.
Earlier in the day, Najib failed in his bid to recuse Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat from presiding over his final appeal.
His lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik informed the Federal Court that the application to recuse the chief justice was filed the night before.
Citing a social media post by the Chief Justice’s husband in 2018, Mr Teh said it is clear that he had negative sentiments towards Najib’s leadership. He argued that this was grounds for the Chief Justice to recuse herself from the proceedings.
When reading the bench’s decision to dismiss the application, the Chief Justice said there was no nexus between her husband’s 2018 Facebook post and that of Najib’s appeal.
“To recuse a judge is a real danger of bias,” she said on Tuesday.
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