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Malaysias Najib finds court for final leg of 1MDB appeal

Ex-PM is petitioning Malaysias top court to quash his corruption conviction and 12-year jail sentence in the event from the 1MDB financial scandal.

Published On 23 Aug 2022

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak is wanting to take away the top judge from the ultimate appeal against his corruption conviction and 12-year jail sentence in an incident from the 1MDB financial scandal.

The move ahead Tuesday sometimes appears because the latest bid by Najib to forestall your final verdict from the Federal Court, that could otherwise potentially deliver its judgement on Tuesday or set a fresh date because of its decision.

Najibs lawyer filed a court application late on Monday to eliminate Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat from the five-member panel hearing his appeal, citing a genuine threat of bias because of social media marketing comments created by her husband in 2018 which were critical of the former prime minister.

Due to the spousal relationship there could be unconscious bias. In the sense that his opinions, his views would affect [the chief justices] findings according of the appeal at this time, Najibs lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik told the court.

The court began hearing the brand new application, that your prosecution called a delaying tactic.

This application is mala fide, done deliberately to scuttle the progress of the case, said lead prosecutor V Sithambaram.

Supporters of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak shout slogans outside the Federal Court, in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
Supporters of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak shout slogans beyond your Federal Court, in Putrajaya, Malaysia, August 23, 2022 [Lai Seng Sin/ Reuters]

Critics say Najib has repeatedly tried to delay closure of the case, that was first induced in 2018 .

Najib changed his legal team just three weeks prior to the final appeals process began the other day. His lawyer Hisyam tried to give up the other day, saying he didn’t have enough time and energy to prepare, however the court refused to discharge him.

I’m not ashamed to state, I was desperate, as would any litigant in my own predicament, Najib said in a statement the other day, explaining his proceed to change lawyers within the last minute.

The appeal hearing is scheduled to be on until Friday.

Nonetheless it could end earlier as prosecutors wrapped up their arguments the other day and Najibs lawyers declined to provide their submissions, again citing insufficient time and energy to prepare.

In regards to a hundred supporters had gathered beyond your court, with some shouting Allahu Akbar and Justice for Najib.

Najib, 69, was found guilty in July 2020 of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power, and money laundering for illegally receiving about $10m from SRC International, a former unit of state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Najib, who pleaded not liable, was sentenced to 12 years of jail and a 210 million ringgit ($46.8m) fine.

Prosecutors have said some $4.5bn was stolen from 1MDB cofounded by Najib as premier in 2009 in a wide-ranging scandal which has implicated officials and finance institutions all over the world.

Najib, who faces several trials on the allegations, has consistently denied wrongdoing.

In his submissions to court, Najib listed 94 explanations why he ought to be acquitted, including that lower courts had erred in a few of these findings.

Prosecutors have said Najib was aware that the funds received in his account were arises from an unlawful activity, and had exercised his position as prime minister, finance minister and adviser to SRC International to get the funds.

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