Aug. 23 (UPI) — Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak began his prison sentence on Tuesday after he exhausted his final appeal and the top court affirmed his punishment for stealing money from the country’s 1MDB fund.
Razak set up the development fund after he took office in 2009. He was later tried and convicted of stealing from the fund. Prosecutors said that billions of dollars were taken from the fund.
Prosecutors said at trial that Razak transferred more than $9 million from SRC International, a unit of the 1MDB fund, into his personal accounts.
A five-member Federal Court panel ruled on Tuesday that the conviction and sentence against Razak were correct and the former prime minister’s appeal was without merit. Razak had also requested the removal of Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat from the panel.
“There will be some who will say the decision is wrong while others will say it is right,” the High Court said in its decision, according to The Star. “What is important is that whatever decisions are made by the court, [they are] done openly and with reasons.”
The former prime minister faces dozens of additional corruption charges in separate cases related to the 1MDB scandal.
Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor also faces criminal charges in a separate case. She has been charged with money-laundering and tax evasion stemming from a solar power project.