Najib remains free as court stays 12-year sentence, RM210m fine pending final appeal of SRC International conviction

Supporters of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak are seen at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya December 8, 2021. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Supporters of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak are seen at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya December 8, 2021. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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PUTRAJAYA, Dec 8 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak successfully obtained a stay of execution for his sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment and RM210 million fine as imposed on him by the Court of Appeal today.

Earlier today, the former prime minister failed to appeal his conviction and sentencing involving the misappropriation of RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd, after the appellate court affirmed the High Court’s ruling.

Judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, who chaired the three-man bench alongside Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, delivered the ruling via video-conferencing at the Palace of Justice here.

Earlier, Najib’s lawyer Farhan Read had asked Abdul Karim to consider the circumstances of disallowing a stay since Najib would need to shoulder simultaneous responsibilities of representing his constituents as Pekan’s member of Parliament and Umno division chief.

“If the applicant’s stay were to be denied, it would carry grave prejudice to the constituents of Pekan as well as result in disruption to his membership in Umno vis Section 9(A)(1) of the Societies Act,” he said.

Najib’s lead defence lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, also submitted before the bench that the stay should be allowed since the notice of appeal to the Federal Court had been filed.

Muhammad Shafee also urged the bench to allow his client to remain free based on the conditions imposed by the High Court.

Last year, trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali allowed the application by the defence to stay the jail sentence in view of the hefty fine imposed.

Amongst the conditions imposed was for Najib’s bail to be raised to RM2 million in two sureties and for Najib to report to the police station of his choice twice monthly.

“We allow the application as per the terms and conditions of the High Court,” Abdul Karim later ruled.

Najib’s failed appeal today was against the High Court’s decision from July 28, 2020, which found him guilty of all seven charges relating to SRC’s RM42 million.

The High Court previously sentenced Najib to 10 years’ jail for each of six charges (three counts each of criminal breach of trust and money laundering), as well as 12 years’ jail and a RM210 million fine with an additional five years’ jail if the fine is not paid for the abuse of position charge.

The High Court had decided that all the prison sentences would run concurrently or at the same time, which would mean a maximum imprisonment of 12 years for Najib.



 

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