Ex-PM Najib guilty of all charges centered around 1MDB-linked graft case
Can leaders be convicted? Are they untouchable or are they vulnerable to judgment by the very masses that put them in power?
● These questions have been asked at an alarming rate, especially with the current resolution in the case against former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Mr. Najib has recently been in a large amount of controversy surrounding accusations of theft from 1MDB- a fund set up for the economic development of Malaysia. His actions and sentence are unprecedented in reference to a man of his stature and could potentially serve as an example for cases against other “untouchable” political leaders.
● Yesterday’s verdict shone a light on Mr. Najib’s activities, convicting him of diverting 42 million ringgit ($9.88 million) from a unit of 1MDB, namely SRC International
● 1MDB, owned by the minister of finance, has previously been under investigation for other cases surrounding illegal money transactions.
● Public money had been deposited into Najib’s accounts and was used for property renovation, purchasing luxury goods, and political funding. Yet, he pleads ‘not guilty’, stating "I did not demand the 42 million nor was it offered to me. There is no witness who can say so,".
● At present, Najib has been convicted on three counts of criminal breach of trust and three counts of money laundering, resulting in his sentence primarily on the basis of financial fraud.
● Whilst there is obvious judgment needed to be imposed on Mr. Najib, specifically with the decision convicting him of 12 years in prison, his faction claims that this decision was motivated by “political vengeance” and that the case itself is skewed.
● Although there are many potential repercussions for such actions along with future investigations concerning 1MDB’s prior transactions, the fact remains that this event acts as a keystone in determining the powers of a political leader.
Reporter- Rahul Kurien