Upholding of guilty verdict gets international media coverage

Patience: Supporters and members of the media waiting outside the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya for the final verdict to be delivered. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s appeal to quash his conviction and sentence in the SRC International case attracted wide coverage across international media outlets.

The high-profile case which saw the Federal Court dismissing the appeal and upholding the former prime minister’s sentence were extensively reported across their web pages.

On Channel News Asia, “Najib to serve 12-year jail sentence after failing in final bid to overturn guilty verdict in 1MDB-linked case” ran as its headline with a comprehensive coverage of the happenings in the lead-up to yesterday’s outcome.

A similar headline was run in South China Morning Post but the Hong Kong-based newspaper added that Najib could still file a judicial review for the court to decide if the judgment was illegal, irrational, unreasonable or involved procedural impropriety.

It also noted the possibility of the former premier obtaining a Royal Pardon, similar to what was obtained by Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in 2018.

Describing it as a “historic moment”, British-based The Independent also reported on the case, adding that Najib was Malaysia’s first prime minister to be jailed.

Reuters also covered the proceedings, adding that investigators had traced more than US$1bil of 1Malaysia Development Bhd money in accounts linked to Najib.

“The wide-ranging scandal has implicated officials and financial institutions around the world, and prompted the US Department of Justice to open what became its biggest kleptocracy investigation,” it reported.

Yesterday, Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said the defence was so inherently inconsistent, it failed to raise reasonable doubt, adding that the conviction was safe on all seven charges and that the sentence was not excessive.

On July 28, 2020, High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali (now a Court of Appeal judge) convicted and sentenced Najib on seven charges involving criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of position, involving SRC funds, totalling RM42mil.

He was sentenced to 12 years’ jail and a fine of RM210mil. The conviction and sentence were upheld by the Court of Appeal.

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Najib Razak , jail , SRC Interna­tional , media


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