On July 27, Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been found guilty of all seven charges in the first of five trials he faces over a multi-billion-dollar graft scandal at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state fund he founded.
The charges state that 4.5 billion U.S. dollars were stolen from 1MDB of which more than a billion dollars of the funds made its way into his personal accounts.
The July 27 trail of Najib Razak was for three counts of criminal breach of trust, one count of abuse of power and three counts of money laundering, with each charge carrying a prison sentence of up to 15 to 20 years.
Najib was voted out in a historic 2018 election after 61 years in power and his trials hold far-reaching political implications.
Najib’s lawyers say he was misled by Malaysian financier Jho Low and other 1MDB officials into believing that the funds banked into his accounts were donated by the Saudi Royal family, rather than misappropriated from SRC as prosecutors have alleged. Jho Low denies any such allegation of Najib’s lawyers.
Some of Najib’s supporters had gathered near the courthouse early on July 27 and the roads to the court were closed off for security reasons.
The court’s decision comes just days after Malaysia reached a 3.9 billion dollars deal with Goldman Sachs over its role in helping 1MDB raise money.