Malaysian prosecutors urge court to uphold former leader Najib’s prison sentence

Prosecutors on Friday urged Malaysia’s highest court to uphold former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s 12-year sentence for corruption, saying his “lack of integrity has been proven”.

On the second day of the Federal Court hearings, the plaintiffs continued their case despite Najib’s claim that he did not have a fair trial.

Najib, 69, has filed a final, high-risk appeal, which could lead to him being imprisoned or acquitted and an attempt to return to power.

At the start of Friday’s hearing, Najib’s chief lawyer, Husam Teh Poh Tek, told the court that the former leader had dismissed part of his defense team.

There was a brief silence and Najib was seen wearing a face mask, looking down.

But Chief Justice Maimon Tuan Matt quietly ordered the prosecution to “move forward” with its arguments.

Maimon had previously said that any delay in the procedures is a waste of public money, and that “delaying justice is a denial of justice for others.”

Najib and his ruling party were voted out in 2018 after allegations that they were involved in a multibillion-dollar financial scandal at state fund 1MDB.

Najib and his associates are accused of stealing billions of dollars from the country’s investment vehicle and spending it on everything from high-end real estate to expensive art.

After a lengthy Supreme Court trial, Najib was found guilty of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust by transferring 42 million ringgit ($10.1 million) from former 1MDB unit SRC International to his personal bank account.

He was sentenced to 12 years in prison in July 2020, although he was not imprisoned while the appeals process was underway.

An appeals court last December rejected his appeal, prompting him to file a final appeal to the Federal Court.

The Prosecutor General of the Government F.

He said, “It has been proven that the appellant was dishonest.”

He added that Najib’s claim that he did not know the source of the funds “is an afterthought to evade criminal responsibility.”

Defense attorney Hisham asked the court on Thursday, citing insufficient time to prepare for the case, but the judges refused.

Najib said he objected “in the strongest terms” to how the court had forced his lawyer to continue despite wanting his release, which he said left him without a proper lawyer.

“My rights to life, liberty and the right to a fair trial are at stake,” he said.

Lawyer Sankara Nair told AFP on Friday that Najib’s defense actions appeared to be aimed at “thwarting court proceedings”.

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