Imprisoned former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is back on trial in his second trial over the theft of Malaysia’s sovereign fund, two days after his 12-year jail sentence for corruption began.
Najib, 69, was jailed on Tuesday after the country’s Supreme Court rejected his latest appeal in a first corruption case involving a robbery of Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund.
His jail sentence comes four years after he was ousted in an election due to a scandal, and many citizens cited it as a desire for justice.
Najib, dressed in a dark blue suit, red tie and mask, was sitting in the dock when the hearing began.
Earlier, he was taken to the courthouse in a heavily guarded, shaded police car to avoid the crowds of journalists waiting to catch a glimpse of him.
Noriana Najwa Najib, Najib’s daughter, said “her father’s morale is still strong”, noting that her father has met his basic needs and that he is adjusting to life in prison.
The current trial began in August 2019 and is significant as it directly links Najib to the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund scandal that has led to investigations in the US and several other countries.
Najib faces four charges of abuse of power to obtain RM2.3 billion (over $700 million at current exchange rates) from the fund between 2011 and 2014, as well as 21 money laundering charges for the same amount.
He faces up to 20 years in prison for each charge of abuse of power and up to five years for each charge of money laundering.