Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was sentenced to twelve years in prison after being found guilty on seven counts of corruption at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex court on Tuesday.
Razak had pleaded not guilty to the charges, which stemmed from the so-called 1MDB scandal. All seven counts of corruption related to separate multi-million dollar offences.
Razak was accused of having received proceeds amounting to 42 million Malaysian ringgit ($10.3 million; €9 million) from 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.
The former prime minister also pleaded not guilty to a criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power.
Razak and his lawyer both gave upbeat and positive responses during a press conference after the verdict, with both believing they have a good chance of winning the appeal.
«This (verdict) is definitely not the end of the world, because there's a process of appeal, and we hope that we would be successful there. So the effort will continue, and to my supporters, I hope they will continue to believe in me, believe in our struggle, and continue to be in positive and high spirits,» explained Razak.
Razak was in office between 2009 and 2018. He denies any offences and continues to claim he was lied to by financial advisers.
«I think this judge is honest. But I think he honestly made various mistakes. And from the judgement at the defence or rather at the prosecution stage, he has gone into the current final judgement. And we find that the error has been compounded. Perhaps because he cannot unwind the reasoning he has provided. So I feel we have got the strongest of chances to win the appeal,» stated Razak's lawyer Muhammad Safee Abdullah.
The 67-year-old Razak, who is also separately on trial for other offences related to the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund, will however not be heading to prison immediately as his sentence is suspended pending appeal.