A Malaysian court has begun hearing a motion by former prime minister Najib Razak to overturn his conviction in a corruption case involving the looting of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state investment fund, which he founded in 2009. Al Jazeera news agency reports about it.
The appeal came eight months after the Malaysian high court found Najib guilty of abuse of power and criminal breach of trust and money laundering for illegally receiving about $ 10 million from the SRC International.
The former prime minister, who led the country’s government from 2009 to 2018, was sentenced to 12 years in prison and a $ 50 million fine.
More than $ 4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB, according to Malaysian prosecutors. More than $ 1 billion was received by the former prime minister.
For his part, Najib has denied all charges and his sentence was adjourned pending appeal.
Lawyers will argue that the judge had erred in rejecting evidence showing that Najib was misled by 1MDB officials, into convincing him that the funds in his account were a donation from the Saudi royal family.
If the former prime minister loses the appeal, Najib still has a final chance to appeal the verdict at Malaysia’s top court.
In recent months, Malaysia has recovered more than $ 3 billion from US bank Goldman Sachs, audit firm Deloitte and Malaysian banking group AmBank in separate claims settlement deals related to 1MDB investigations.