Tuesday’s ruling by Malaysia’s highest court upholding Najib Razak’s 12-year prison term for corruption in the 1MDB financial scandal was criticised by observers as potentially closing the door to a political comeback.
A warrant of committal was also issued by Chief Justice Maimun Tuan Mat, according to a lawyer, which indicates that Najib will be arrested right away.
As the decision was announced, the 69-year-old former prime minister was flanked by his wife Rosmah and their two children and appeared solemn and disappointed.
“We determine that the appeal has no merit. On behalf of a five-judge Federal Court panel, Maimun stated, “We deem the verdict and sentence to be safe.We all agree that the evidence presented throughout the trial clearly shows guilt on each of the seven charges.
According to Maimun, it would have been “a mockery of justice of the greatest order” for any reasonable tribunal to find the appellant innocent of the seven accusations brought against him in the face of such evidence.
Sankara Nair, a lawyer who is not associated with the case, “Najib will be brought to prison immediately” when the court issues a warrant of committal.
The Federal Court’s ruling came after the tribunal rejected Najib’s attorneys’ last-minute request to have the top justice withdraw herself from the case due to perceived bias on her behalf.