Malaysia court rejects Najib bid to review graft conviction

Najib Razak’s attempt to have his 12-year prison term for corruption overturned by Malaysia’s highest court was denied on Friday, effectively ending his chances of making a political comeback.

The former prime minister had petitioned the Federal Court to reconsider the decision of an earlier panel to reject his last-ditch effort to overturn the conviction stemming from the theft of state investment fund 1MDB.

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Najib, 69, argued that he was denied a fair trial and that his new legal team was not given enough time to review the case files. He also claimed that the judge presided over the meeting had a conflict of interest.

However, the Federal Court rejected the lawsuit on Friday.

“There has been no prejudice and no failure of justice,” said judge Vernon Ong Lam Kiat.

In connection with the transfer of 42 million ringgit ($10.1 million) from the former 1MDB unit SRC International to his personal bank account, he will continue to serve his 12-year prison term for misuse of authority, money laundering, and criminal breach of trust.

As the verdict was announced, Najib, who has been imprisoned since August, showed dejection.

He had earlier been escorted to court by prison officers and welcomed by a large number of admirers.

He was joined at the proceedings by his wife Rosmah Mansor, who was convicted guilty of graft last year.

Najib is also charged with scores of additional crimes, which could increase his prison sentence.

The majority of them concern his alleged involvement in the 1MDB scandal, which sparked money laundering inquiries in countries all over the globe, including the US, Switzerland, and Singapore.

Najib was overthrown and his long-ruling party was defeated in the 2018 elections in large part due to claims that billions of dollars were stolen from 1MDB and used to purchase everything from a superyacht to a Monet painting.

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