It was too obvious Najib was not scammed but was the world’s biggest crook himself.
Muhyiddin appears to be on the correct path of reconciliation with Mahathir. The latter is certainly very pleased with yesterday’s verdict delivered by High Court Judge Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, the same judge trusted by the Pakatan Harapan government under Mahathir’s premiership before his lieutenant Muhyiddin betrayed him and seized power instead through a coup.
Najib Razak, the former prime minister who lost power in the 2018 General Election at the height of 1MDB scandal, has been found guilty of all seven charges. He was guilty on one count of abuse of power, three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT), and three counts of money laundering – all involving RM42 million stolen from SRC International Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of 1MDB).
Najib, who walked the corridors of power from 2009 to 2018, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for abuse of power, and 10 years in jail for each of six counts of money laundering and breach of trust (CBT). Additionally, Najib was fined RM210 million, and will serve an additional five years if he fails to pay. He was gifted a total of 72 years in prison.
However, because the judge allows the jail sentences to run concurrently, Najib is looking at a jail term of only 12 years, being the highest duration of jail term among all the seven charges. Obviously didn’t expecting the result, Najib said he was “very disappointed” with the verdict. Despite successfully obtaining a stay of execution for his sentence, he could no longer smile, as he normally would.
Perhaps Najib, whose “Malu apa bossku” (What’s the shame, my boss?) moniker has taken the country by storm, should not have had celebrated his 67th birthday some five days ago (July 23). Heck, he even celebrated it at the court with about 20 supporters – a taboo. The number “67” is definitely not prosperous. Now, he really is in “67” (screw-up) situation with the guilty verdict.
Not only Najib became the first former prime minister in Malaysia to be convicted, delivering a shameful legacy to the Razak family, but he also broke the US record when then-US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in 2017 that the corruption scandal involving the 1MDB, a Malaysian state fund, was the worst and biggest kleptocracy case ever brought by the US Justice Department.
The scandal involved global investigation across three continents, where money was spent on high-end property, luxury goods and lavish holidays and parties involving Najib, his family and partner Jho Low. The US-DoJ investigation results say that over US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from the 1MDB fund, with some of the money used to buy a private jet, a superyacht, Picasso paintings, jewellery and real estate.
From the beginning of the multiple trials involving the former PM, the defence team led by the so-called hotshot lawyer Shafee Abdullah had been not only disrespecting the Judiciary, but also insulting the judge’s intelligence. For example, during a case management in Nov 2018, Najib deliberately refused to enter the “dock”, despite a polite request to do so by a police officer on duty.
The defiant crook wanted special preferential privileges, unlike other ordinary criminals. Even after his downfall and being slapped with dozens of charges, Najib purposely ignored the rules of the court and challenged the rule of law in every way he can. He wanted to test how far he could mock and take advantage of the already corrupted system which he was part of before he lost his power.
But what really annoyed High Court Judge Nazlan the most was the attempts by the arrogant defence team to belittle his intelligence. That explains why the judge used words like “defying logic”, “far-fetched” and “astounding”, among others, when he read his two-hour judgement today, before concluding that the defence had failed to raise reasonable doubt for all seven criminal charges.
From the start, the game plan was to convince the judge, the people, and even the US Department of Justice, that Najib was actually a stupid prime minister – and hoped Judge Mohd Nazlan would be too stupid to realize that Najib was actually faking his stupidity. Last year, defence lawyer Shafee said – “My client does not deal with his account himself. He was misled and is a victim.”
In August 2019, we published an article (read here) highlighting 10 points that any first-year law student can use to nail Najib and send him to jail in the SRC International trial. The money trail from SRC International to Najib’s personal bank accounts, including RM4 billion loans from KWAP, has been established. Najib even modified the Constitution of SRC to make himself the “adviser emeritus”.
He didn’t make a single complaint from 2011 to 2015 to the bank about any irregularities. Ambank also confirmed only Najib can sign all cheques. He claimed to be “shocked and upset” when he was told that millions had been banked into his personal bank accounts. However, he refused to lodge a report either with the police or the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission).
A BlackBerry message proved that not only Najib knew about what’s happening, but also was in absolute control of his bank accounts. He even ordered Jho Low to check why his platinum credit cards could not go through. Conveniently, all credit card expenses were paid with the RM42 million transferred into Najib’s personal bank account (which received a total of RM606.51 million over 19 months).
Yet, Najib’s defence team continued to claim ignorance, insisting that the disgraced former premier had been scammed by Jho Low, Ambank, SRC CEO Nik Faisal and everyone except himself. The biggest problem with the defence’s lies is the fact that he happily spent all the money which he claimed that he had no idea of its sources.
But the serial liar Najib did not stop there. In January 2020, we published another article about the top eight lies that were so extraordinary they might backfire and incriminate the crook (read here). Yes, on Day 72 of the SRC International trial, the former PM’s defence team lied so much that it was not funny anymore. It became so “astounding” that the judge was getting irritated.
Surprisingly, during the High Court Judge Nazlan’s judgement yesterday, he appeared to have covered almost all the eight points highlighted in our article seven months ago, including the absence of a “Thank You” note to Saudi King Abdullah (despite the alleged donations of more than US$1 billion from the Saudi Arabia Monarch to Najib between 2011 and 2013).
The narcissist Najib was particularly arrogant and over-confident of winning the case, especially after his political party UMNO joined the new government of Muhyiddin. He proudly declared that the atmosphere would be more conducive towards a fair trial after the collapse of Pakatan Harapan, the same coalition that toppled him in the 2018 election.
Today, he can’t claim unfairness or being targeted politically because the current Perikatan Nasional government is the same backdoor coalition he had supported during a coup about four months ago. Hence, like a broken-record, Najib could only maintain his innocence after the verdict. The desperate man pulled a similar stunt of reciting the Muslim oath to maintain his innocence at the court.
Still, it’s not game over for Najib. His next step is to appeal his conviction in the Court of Appeal, failing which he can escalate it to the Federal Court, the highest court and the final appellate court in the country. For now, until Najib is successfully transported to jail, many people are sceptical that the former prime minister will actually spend 12 years behind bars.
However, it would be a huge challenge for either the Court of Appeal or the Federal Court to reverse the verdict delivered by the High Court due to overwhelming evidence stacked against Najib. It would be too obvious if the judges of both courts of appeal try to find fault with High Court Judge Nazlan Mohd Ghazali’s judgement. It was too obvious Najib was not scammed but was the world’s biggest crook himself. – Finance Twitter