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Court hears Malaysian ex-leader Najib’s prison sentence appeal

#Court #hears #Malaysian #exleader #Najibs #prison #sentence #appeal

Malaysia’s highest court on Tuesday said it would hear former leader Najib Razak’s latest attempt to have his 12-year prison sentence overturned on corruption charges, with an acquittal potentially paving the way for his return to power.

The federal court’s decision to proceed with the hearing beginning Thursday came after it denied the former prime minister’s request for a retrial.

“In our opinion, there is no miscarriage of justice,” Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said in court as she read a unanimous decision by a panel of five judges she chairs after two days of hearings.

“We find that the applicant has failed to cross the high threshold (of the law)… In the circumstances, the motion (for the admission of new evidence for a retrial) is hereby dismissed.”

Najib’s attorney requested that the court be adjourned three to four months before the hearing could begin, but the panel, after some deliberation, refused.

The hearing is scheduled to begin Thursday and last eight days.

Najib, 69, made the final appeal to the country’s highest court after his previous lawsuit was dismissed by an appeals court last December.

He was found guilty in July 2020 of corruption related to the state fund 1MDB and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

“The stark reality is that if granting an adjournment in a case of this nature was an easier option, significant public resources would be wasted,” the chief justice said.

“Justice cannot be unduly delayed. Justice deferred is justice denied to others,” she added.

Najib and his ruling party were summarily ousted from office in the 2018 election after they were accused of being implicated in a multi-billion dollar scandal at 1MDB.

The former prime minister and his staff have been accused of stealing billions of dollars from the country’s investment vehicle and spending it on everything from high-end real estate to expensive art.

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