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Najib Razak: Malaysian ex-PM guilty in 1MDB corruption trial

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Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak has been found guilty of all seven charges in the first of several multi-million dollar corruption trials.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power.

The case against Najib, in office from 2009 to 2018, was widely seen as a test of Malaysia’s anti-corruption efforts.

The 1MDB scandal around a state-owned wealth fund in Malaysia has uncovered a global web of fraud and corruption.

It sent shockwaves through Malaysia’s political establishment, leading to the toppling of Najib’s UMNO party, which had governed the country for 61 years since it gained independence.

Najib could now face decades in jail – but he is expected to remain out of prison until appeals are exhausted.

“After considering all evidence in this trial, I find that the prosecution has successfully proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohamad Ghazali told the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Ahead of the hearing, Najib said he would fight on until the end, vowing to appeal against any guilty verdicts against him. “This is my chance to clear my name,” he wrote in a statement on Facebook.

What were the accusations?

Tuesday’s verdicts centred on 42 million ringgit ($10m, £7.7m) transferred from the fund to the then-prime minister’s private accounts.

Najib denies all wrongdoing and says he was misled by financial advisers – in particular fugitive financier Jho Low.

Jho Low has been charged in both the US and Malaysia, but also maintains his innocence.

A supporter reacts after the verdicts were announced

Najib’s defence team argued he was led to believe the funds in his accounts were donated by the Saudi royal family – rather than misappropriated from the state fund.

The charges carry as much as 15 to 20 years in prison each.

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