International

Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak found guilty on all charges in corruption trial

Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak has been found guilty of all seven charges in the first of several multi-million dollar corruption trials.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering, and abuse of power.

The case against Najib, in office from 2009 to 2018, was widely seen as a test of Malaysia’s anti-corruption efforts.

The scandal around Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund has uncovered a global web of fraud and corruption.

“After considering all evidence in this trial, I find that the prosecution has successfully proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohamad Ghazali told the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

What were the accusations?

Tuesday’s verdicts centred on 42 million ringgit ($10m, £7.7m) transferred from the fund to the then-prime minister’s private accounts.

Najib denies all wrongdoing and says he was misled by financial advisors – in particular fugitive financier Jho Low.

Jho Low has been charged in both the US and Malaysia, but also maintains his innocence.

Najib’s defence team argued he was led to believe the funds in his accounts were donated by the Saudi royal family – rather than misappropriated from the state fund.

The charges carry as much as 15 to 20 years in prison each. Before the verdict, Najib said he would appeal if found guilty. BBC