Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, sentenced to 12 years in prison for corruption, has asked for a royal pardon, almost two weeks after entering prison to serve his sentence, official sources confirmed on Monday.
The president of the Malaysian Parliament, Azhar Azizan Harun, indicated in a statement that Najib will not lose his parliamentary status until the royal pardon, which was presented by his lawyers last Friday, is resolved.
Najib, who was treated at the hospital on Sunday for an ailment not specified by the authorities, has been serving a sentence since the Malaysian Federal Court confirmed last August 23 a twelve-year prison sentence for corruption.
The 69-year-old former president was found guilty of the misappropriation of 42 million ringgit (9.4210 million dollars) from the state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
He was also sentenced to pay a 210 million ringgit ($47 million) fine.
Najib, who ruled the country from April 2009 to May 2018, pleads not guilty to the accusations in this case: abuse of power and trust and money laundering for the diversion of millions to his private accounts.
The former president’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, was also sentenced on September 1 to ten years in prison for accepting bribes related to a solar energy project for 369 rural schools in the state of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo.
Najib faces four other trials for the 1MDB scandal, the largest corruption case in the country that came to light in 2015 due to a journalistic investigation into the diversion of funds to the accounts of the then president and founder of the fund.
According to police investigations, Najib and his associates allegedly diverted 4.5 billion dollars (4.532 million euros) from the investment arm of the Malaysian state to their private accounts, a scandal that led to his fall from power after losing the elections on May 10, 2018.
Three days later, Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor tried to board a plane for Jakarta, but were banned from leaving the country by then-Prime Minister-elect Mahathir Mohamad, and authorities began investigating the 1MDB scandals.
Najib, the first former Malaysian president to go to prison, belongs to a family of the country’s nobility and is the son of one of the founding fathers of Malaysia, Abdul Razak Hussein, prime minister between 1970 and 1976.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.