A Malaysian court pronounced former Prime Minister Najib Razak guilty in his first corruption trial over the multibillion-dollar looting of the 1MDB investment fund.
The ruling came five months after a new government took power with Najib’s Malay party the biggest bloc in the alliance. His party’s shocking election ouster in 2018 was driven by public anger over the 1MDB scandal.
I find the accused guilty and convict the accused of all seven charges, Judge Mohamad Nazlan Ghazali said after spending two hours to read out his ruling.
Najib has promised to appeal. He has said he was misled by rogue bankers and the case against him is political.
Analysts said the ruling would bolster the prosecution’s case in Najib’s other trials. He faces 42 charges in five separate trials and could face years in prison.
The current trial involved a charge of abuse of power, three charges of criminal breach of trust and three money laundering charges.
The judge said Najib had failed to raise reasonable doubt and that prosecutors had established beyond reasonable doubt that Najib misappropriated the money for his own use.