Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has begun serving a 12-year prison sentence after losing his final appeal on charges related to a graft scandal involving state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
On Aug. 23, a five-member Federal Court panel upheld his conviction and sentence for the embezzlement of 42 million ringgit ($9 million) at SRC International—a former unit of 1MDB—and denied his appeal.
In her ruling, Judge Tengku Maimun said Najib didn't challenge the transfer of money into his personal bank accounts throughout the trial and that his appeal was "devoid of any merits."
"We are unable to conclude that any of the findings of the High Court, as affirmed by the Court of Appeal, were perverse or plainly wrong so as to warrant appellate intervention," Maimun said. "We agree that the defense is so inherently inconsistent and incredible that it does not raise a reasonable doubt on the prosecution case."
Judiciary 'Unfair'Prior to the court's ruling, Najib stood to make a statement protesting the apex court's refusals last week to postpone the appeal hearings and claimed that the judiciary had been "unfair" to him.
Najib said a leaked verdict by the Federal Court, which was posted online, would constitute "judicial misconduct of the highest order." The Federal Court's chief registrar has filed a police report over the leaked document.
Najib also filed an application to remove Maimun from the case, citing possible bias in light of her husband’s negative statements on social media about his leadership after his ouster in the 2018 general election. His request was denied.
The Federal Court also dismissed his bid to seek a retrial on grounds of bias by the High Court judge last week and refused to postpone the appeal to give his new lawyers more time to prepare. The court also denied a request by Najib’s new lawyer to withdraw from the case.