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Malaysia’s ex-PM found guilty in corruption trial

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 7/28/20, 04:30 am

Two years after the multibillion-dollar 1MDB scandal brought down former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his government, a court on Tuesday convicted him on seven charges. A judged sentenced Najib to 12 years in prison plus a fine of $49.4 million for abuse of power, three counts of criminal breach of trust, and three counts of money laundering. He vowed to appeal, calling the case political. Observers welcomed the outcome, saying it set a good precedence for his four other corruption trials.

What is the case about? Najib set up the 1MDB investment fund shortly after taking office in 2009 to bolster economic growth. Yet the fund took on billions of dollars in debt as his associates, led by Jho Low, stole at least $4.5 billion from it to finance Hollywood films and buy hotels, yachts, jewelry, and other luxuries. U.S. investigators found that more than $700 million of the fund ended up in Najib’s bank account. Low is still on the run.

Dig deeper: Read Lynde Langdon’s report in The Sift about Razak’s arrest.

Editor’s note: WORLD has updated this report since its initial posting.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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