Najib Razak claimed that he did not know the source of the money that ended up in his personal bank account.
The Malaysian court is set to rule on the appeal of the conviction of former prime minister Najib Razak in the first corruption case related to the multi-billion-dollar scandal of the state fund 1MDB on Wednesday.
Najib’s term as prime minister ended in defeat in the 2018 general election. Found guilty In July last year, he transferred approximately 42 million ringgit (US$9.88 million) from SRC International, a division of 1MDB, to his personal bank account and was sentenced 12 years imprisonment.
The 68-year-old was released on bail pending trial appeal.
The court’s ruling came as Najib tried to make a comeback in a country that had experienced three prime ministers since the last century. 1MDB scandal Overthrew his government. He remains popular in the ruling Malay National Unity Organization (UMNO), which regained power after its defeat in 2018.
In recent days, Najib and his legal team tried to provide new evidence and requested a postponement on Tuesday because a member of the team tested positive for COVID-19. The judge rejected the request and rejected the application to accept new evidence at the online hearing.
The seven allegations in the case involved multiple allegations of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal dishonesty.
In the guilty verdict last year, Judge Mohamad Nazlan Ghazali said that Najib, who was also prime minister and minister of finance at the time of the crime, “beyond the permitted scope of behavior” when approving the loan and later became the source of funds transferred to his account.
He said Najib “benefited” from the loan approval and the defense failed to raise reasonable doubts about the crime of abuse of power.
During the appeal, the defense argued that Najib did not know that the money entered his account or that it came from SRC. They claimed that Najib was misled by Malaysian financier Low Tejo and other 1MDB officials that the funds in his account were donations from the Saudi royal family.
Low Tezuo’s whereabouts are unknown and denied wrongdoing.
A panel of three judges from the Court of Appeals will start at 9 am (01:00 GMT).
According to the US Department of Justice, Najib drew US$4.5 billion in government funds from 1MDB during his tenure.
According to the prosecutors, the former prime minister received more than $1 billion in 1MDB funds and faces a total of 42 criminal charges related to the scandal.
Najib is the first Malaysian leader convicted of corruption.
If the judge decides to uphold the original ruling, he can appeal Wednesday’s appeal decision to the country’s Supreme Court.