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Malaysia Former PM Najib Razak appeals corruption conviction


Malaysia Former PM Najib Razak appeals corruption conviction

Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak will appeal his corruption charges due to his part in the 1MDB scandal.
Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak will appeal his conviction on charges of corruption in a money laundering and embezzlement scandal – Photo: Adli Ghazali/AFP via Andalou Agency

Malaysia’s highest court will today hear the criminal appeal of convicted former Prime Minister Najib Razak. 

Najib was arrested by Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission in July 2018 and convicted two years later by a trial court on seven charges, including abuse of power and money laundering. The former premier was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and fined $47.3 million. A three-judge intermediate appellate panel unanimously affirmed his conviction. 

What is now known as the 1MDB scandal—which involved the embezzlement of almost $10 million through former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International—has not only rocked Malaysian politics but has also led to international calls for a new anti-corruption legal regime. 

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Do not expect Najib to escape liability in the short-term. Even if his conviction is reversed or vacated, the former prime minister faces 42 other graft charges and is widely regarded as a face of corruption in the public sector. In the medium-term, the successful prosecution of Najib will likely empower Malaysia’s governing coalition, despite former political association with Razak. It may also lead to the strengthening of the Anti-Corruption Commission as an independent law enforcement agency. In the long-term, expect further calls for an international body to address corruption, such as an international anti-corruption court.

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