Umno president: ‘My friend’ Najib’s SRC conviction ‘not end of the world’, major decision by party imminent

Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi waves at supporters at the Kuala Lumpur High Court July 28, 2020. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi waves at supporters at the Kuala Lumpur High Court July 28, 2020. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 ― Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s conviction today in his corruption, power abuse and money laundering trial over ex-1MDB subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd’s RM42 million funds is “not the end of the world”, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has said.

Zahid, who was earlier today sighted with Najib before the High Court delivered its guilty verdict on the latter, alluded to the existing court process where the case could further be pursued.

“I am very sympathetic and feel sad, not just as an Umno president and what’s important is that he is my friend.

“But this is not the end of the world, as how he told me. There’s a process after this,” Zahid told reporters when met at the Kuala Lumpur court complex.

Zahid also hinted that Umno may make a major decision following Najib’s conviction today.

“But certainly we will make quite a big political decision as a result of the decision made today and I hope we have an open mind towards any decision made by the party,” he said.

Zahid was speaking to the media after attending his own separate criminal trial in the same Kuala Lumpur court complex. He is facing 47 charges over alleged bribery, criminal breach of trust and money laundering offences.

While he was still sitting in the dock for his own trial earlier this afternoon, a new post was uploaded on Zahid’s official Facebook page where he called on Umno leaders and members to remain calm as Najib still has room to pursue his case through the country’s legal process.

Najib is a former prime minister as well as a former finance minister, while also formerly holding the positions of Umno president and Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman.

Najib is currently the Pekan Umno chief, chairman of BN’s advisory board and the Pekan MP.

Earlier today, the High Court ruled that Najib was guilty of all seven charges faced in the SRC trial. The possible penalties for the offences that the court found Najib to have committed range from jail terms to fines or even both.

This afternoon, Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah presented arguments to mitigate or reduce his client’s sentence, while the prosecution has been pressing for a deterrent sentence.

At the time of writing, the High Court has yet to deliver its decision on the penalties to be meted out on Najib.

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