KUALA LUMPUR: Najib Razak did not express any remorse after he was found guilty of seven counts of corruption in relation to RM42 million belonging to SRC International.
Trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said the former prime minister even maintained his defence of no knowledge of the RM42 million in his mitigation.
On July 28, Nazlan allowed Najib to personally address the court after his defence lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, had also undertaken an extensive exercise.
Najib, who ended his mitigation by taking the “Islamic oath”, said he had never
demanded the RM42 million, never planned for it and that it was also never offered to him.
“He additionally stated that he had no knowledge of the RM42 million,” Nazlan said in his written judgment made available yesterday.
Nazlan said he could not deny Najib had made contributions to the well-being and betterment of the people of the nation, probably in many different ways, for he was, after all, the prime minister for nine years.
“Political history will continue to debate whether he has done on balance more good than harm. But this very process would arguably be inimical to the ideals of a clean administration that does not tolerate corruption and abuse of power,” he said.
He said whether the moral compass of the nation required some recalibration was deserving of a separate discourse.
“What this court seeks to affirm is the sanctity of the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution.
“No one – not even one who was the most powerful political figure and the leader of the country – enjoys a cloak of invincibility from the force of the law,” he said.
Nazlan said Najib’s conviction on all seven charges of abuse of position, criminal breach of trust and money laundering constituted nothing less than an absolute betrayal of trust.
For this reason, he said he considered the conviction for abuse of position under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act as the most serious transgression among the three given his position of trust as the prime minister and finance minister when the offences were committed.
He said all the offences for which the accused was convicted manifestly involved deliberate planning and premeditation over a period of time.
Najib was sentenced to 12 years’ jail and fined RM210 million for abuse of power and 10 years on each of the three counts of criminal breach of trust and money laundering.
The judge, however, ordered the jail terms to run concurrently, which means Najib will serve 12 years in jail.
Nazlan allowed the application by the defence to stay the jail sentence in view of the hefty fine imposed.
Najib has filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal while the prosecution has cross-appealed on inadequacy of sentence.