Former Malaysian PM Najib’s final attempt to challenge his graft conviction verdict dismissed by Malaysia’s apex court

Former Malaysian PM Najib’s final attempt to challenge his graft conviction verdict dismissed by Malaysia’s apex court

MALAYSIA — Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s bid to review an earlier court decision affirming his graft conviction in a case related to state fund 1MDB, was dismissed by Malaysia’s Federal Court on Friday (31 Mar).

The decision was delivered by a five-person Federal Court bench chaired by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abdul Rahman Sebli.

Najib is currently serving a 12-year jail term and has been fined RM210 million after being found guilty of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

Najib had sought a review of the Federal Court’s decision that affirmed his conviction and sentence, claiming that he was not given a fair hearing.

However, in the majority 4-1 decision, the panel found no bias or breach of natural justice in the earlier court hearing, and Justice Vernon Ong Lam Kiat concluded that Najib “was the author of his own misfortunes.”

This review application was Najib’s last chance to challenge the verdict in court.

However, he has also applied for a royal pardon from Malaysia’s King which, if granted, would see him released without serving the full 12-year term.

Najib’s legal team had also sought a review of the court’s decision to dismiss his attempt to postpone his appeal hearing, as well as its decision not to recuse Tun Tengku Maimun from the Federal Court appeal due to Facebook posts made by her husband in May 2018.

They had argued that the posts had demonstrated her husband’s negative views of Najib’s leadership and had concluded that he had siphoned funds from 1MDB into his personal bank account.

Both these applications were dismissed.

Najib had also attempted to nullify his hearing in the High Court on the basis of trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali not recusing himself over an alleged conflict of interest, which was also dismissed.

In January 2023, Najib petitioned the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to rule that the dismissal of his appeal by the Federal Court in August 2022 was unjust and flawed as he “was sent to jail without the opportunity to defend himself”.

His legal team had argued that a failure to give a new set of lawyers more time to prepare had unjustly punished Najib. They

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