Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was on Tuesday sentenced to 12 years in prison in connection with the multi-billion-dollar 1Malaysia Development Berhad corruption case, which forced him out of power, BBC reported.
In his first trial in the case, Razak was found guilty of seven charges in all – one of abuse of power, three charges of criminal breach of trust and three money laundering charges involving the transfer of 42 million ringgit ($9.8 million or Rs 73.34 crore approximately) from a former unit of the now insolvent company 1MDB into his bank accounts.
The verdict came about five months after Najib’s United Malays National Organisation party returned to power as part of a coalition. The case is seen as a test of Malaysia’s anti-corruption laws.
Razak had said on Monday that he would fight till the end and clear this name. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and alleged that he had been misled by investors.
In June 2018, the Malaysian Police had seized jewellery, handbags, watches and other luxury items worth nearly 1.1 billion ringgit (approximately Rs 1,800 crore) from several apartments linked to Razak. Twenty-two officials used six machines over three days to count the cash seized in what was the country’s biggest-ever seizure. The total cash seized was around 116.7 million ringgit (approximately Rs 198 crore).
In July, Razak pleaded not guilty after a court in Kuala Lumpur charged him with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of corruption. He was arrested on September 19 for corruption-related offences in connection with the scandal.
Malaysia had in December filed criminal charges against United States bank Goldman Sachs and two of its former employees in connection with the state fund. The US Department of Justice, meanwhile, said about $4.5 billion (more than Rs 32,200 crore) was misappropriated from the state fund by high-level officials of the fund and their associates from 2009 to 2014.
In 2015, when he was prime minister, Razak resisted demands to step down despite reports of financial mismanagement at 1MDB and allegations that he received $681 million (Rs 4,425 crore) in his personal bank account. But after he lost the elections to his former mentor Mahathir Mohamad in May 2018, Razak was barred from leaving the country and the case was reopened.