Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah says he is happy that his client was found guilty of all seven charges.

Najib is the first prime minister in the country charged and found guilty.

KUALA LUMPUR (July 28): Former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak was today sentenced by the High Court to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million.

This follows Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali finding the Pekan member of Parliament guilty of all seven charges, which include one for abuse of power involving the Retirement Fund Inc's (KWAP) RM4 billion loans to SRC International Sdn Bhd, three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving RM42 million and three counts of money laundering.

Najib is the first former prime minister in the country to be charged in court and sentenced to jail.

He said the accused held a position of trust and was found to have betrayed the trust of the public.

The judge said the 12 years' imprisonment and RM210 million fine are for abuse of power, while the three CBT charges carry a sentence of 10 years' jail each. Meanwhile, the money laundering charges carry a 10-year prison sentence each.

"The sentences are to run concurrently," he said.

Justice Mohd Nazlan said if Najib fails to pay the fine of RM210 million, he faces another five years in jail.

However, after submissions by the defence and the prosecution, the judge allowed a stay of the sentence and fine.

"The bail, however, is raised by another RM1 million [to make it RM2 million] and he has to report to the nearest police station every 1st and 15th of the month. The additional bail has to be paid by tomorrow afternoon," Justice Mohd Nazlan ruled. 

'Defence failed to raise reasonable doubt'

Earlier today, after reading out Najib's guilty verdict over two hours and 10 minutes, Justice Mohd Nazlan said the defence had failed to create doubt about the prosecutions concerning all seven charges against Najib.

In his judgement, he said Najib had made no attempts to recover the RM4 billion loans given by KWAP, which were transferred to Switzerland immediately after the loans were released in 2011 and 2012, as he did not give permission to then second finance minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah to go there and help recover it.

Justice Mohd Nazlan also noted that while the former premier admitted that the RM42 million was from SRC, he made no attempts to return the money.

The judge also downplayed the former premier's assertion that he thought the RM42 million was part of a donation from the late Saudi Arabian monarch King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Justice Mohd Nazlan further questioned the authenticity of the four letters, especially the last one, produced by the defence, which was said to be from the Arab prince recognising the donation.

This followed Najib's defence witness, former minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, testifying that the purported meeting with the Saudi King took place in 2010, and that the money only came in 2013.

Hence, the judge questioned the argument put forth by the defence and former premier that Najib thought the RM42 million he used up in December 2014 and February 2015 was still part of the Arab donation.

Charges on the former premier

Najib faced three CBT charges as a public servant and agent of the government, namely the prime minister, finance minister and SRC adviser emeritus, for allegedly misappropriating RM27 million and RM5 million in December 2014 and an additional RM10 million in February 2015.

The funds were found to be part of the RM4 billion loans, which were granted in two tranches of RM2 billion each, extended by KWAP to SRC.

The three charges were framed under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years, with whipping and a fine upon conviction.

On the abuse of power charge, Najib as prime minister and finance minister was accused of using his position to commit bribery involving RM42 million through his participation or involvement in the decision to provide government guarantees for the RM4 billion loans granted by KWAP to SRC.

He was charged with committing the offence at the Prime Minister's Office, Precinct 1, Putrajaya, Federal Territory of Putrajaya, between Aug 17, 2011 and February 8, 2012. For this, Najib was charged under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.

If convicted under Section 24 of the Act, Najib would face up to 20 years of imprisonment, and a fine of not less than five times the amount or value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

He was also charged with three counts of money laundering under Section 4 of the Anti Money Laundering, Anti Terrorism Financing and Proceeds from Unlawful Activity Act 2001.- Edge Markets, 28/7/2020