Malaysia’s top court refuses ex-PM Najib’s bid for review

Malaysia's highest court has denied former Prime Minister Najib Razak's bid for a review of his corruption convictions, ruling that the decision was “final and binding”.

The Federal Court of Malaysia on Monday rejected Najib's application for a review of his conviction in July on seven counts of corruption and money laundering linked to the 1MDB scandal.

The scandal, which erupted in 2015 and involved the alleged theft of billions of dollars from a state investment fund, helped bring down Najib's government in 2018.

Najib was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined 210 million ringgit ($50 million) after a trial that began in April. He was found guilty of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in connection with 42 million ringgit ($10 million) that allegedly ended up in his bank accounts.

The former prime minister had argued that his convictions were based on “erroneous facts” and the law. But the court ruled that the appeal was “not fit for review” and the decision was “final and binding”.

Najib's lawyers said they were disappointed by the decision and would consider other options.

The scandal surrounding 1MDB saw billions of dollars allegedly siphoned off from the fund, with some of it used to buy luxury items and properties in the US, Europe and Asia.

The scandal has been the subject of investigations in several countries, including the US, Switzerland, Singapore and Malaysia. Najib has denied any wrongdoing, saying he was misled by those around him.

The former prime minister was cleared of a second corruption trial involving SRC International, a former 1MDB unit, in February.