Malaysia’s former prime minister heads to prison

Malaysia’s former prime minister heads to prison
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Islam News – Two years ago, Najib Razak, Malaysia’s former prime minister, was convicted of corruption for participating in a multibillion-dollar scandal. On Tuesday, the nation’s highest court rejected his final appeal, and now the former leader is headed to prison to serve a 12-year sentence.

It has been a stunning fall for the British-educated son of one prime minister and nephew of another, who spent nearly his entire adult life in politics and held numerous cabinet posts. With its decision, the high court clearly established its independence from politics after some analysts predicted that Najib retained enough influence to have his conviction overturned or his charges dismissed.

“This is a historic moment in Malaysian politics,” said James Chin, a professor of Asian studies at the University of Tasmania. “This is the first time a prime minister, or an ex-prime minister, has been found guilty of corruption and is actually going to jail.”

The background: Nicknamed the Man of Steal by critics, Najib was convicted on seven counts for illegally receiving transfers of $9.8 million from a government investment fund known as 1MDB. Stolen money was traced to the purchases of a huge yacht and a Picasso painting, as well as an investment in the Hollywood blockbuster “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which was produced by Najib’s stepson.

Up next: Najib faces dozens more charges involving $4.5 billion that disappeared from the fund, which he oversaw as both prime minister and finance minister.

Source: The New York Times

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