Zahid: Najib told me this is not the end of the world

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 28): While Umno accepted the High Court's guilty verdict on former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd trial today, the party will be working on "something", pending discussions on the current government's direction, said its president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Ahmad Zahid was doorstopped by the media today as he was exiting the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex at around 4.45pm, during Najib's sentencing mitigation.

"On behalf of Umno, we accept the court's decision against Datuk Seri Najib. But as a friend, I feel sympathetic and very saddened by the decision made by the court earlier. He (Najib) told me, 'This is not the end of the world,'" he said. 

"Definitely, there is something that Umno will do. Wait for the outcome of our discussions on the efforts to determine the direction of the current government," Ahmad Zahid added.

Ahmad Zahid was among Umno members who came to the court this morning to lend their support to Najib. However, the former deputy prime minister himself had to attend his own graft trial's proceedings earlier today.

Besides him, other notable Umno figures included Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, Pasir Salak member of Parliament Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, former Pahang menteri besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, and Umno Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.

This morning, Najib was found guilty by the High Court here of all seven charges of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in relation to RM42 million belonging to SRC International.

In delivering his verdict, High Court judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said the case had been proven beyond reasonable doubt as the defence failed to rebut the prosecution's case.

Najib was slapped with three criminal breach of trust charges as a public servant and agent of the government, namely the prime minister, finance minister, and SRC International adviser emeritus, for misappropriating RM27 million and RM5 million in December 2014, and another RM10 million in February 2015.

The funds were part of two loans from the Retirement Fund, Inc (KWAP) to SRC worth a total of RM4 billion.

The three charges were made under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years, whipping and a fine upon conviction.

Meanwhile, he was also charged with one count of abusing his power.

Najib, as prime minister and finance minister, had used his position to commit bribery involving RM42 million through his participation or involvement in the decision to provide government guarantees for the KWAP loans to SRC.

He was charged with committing the offence at the Prime Minister's Office, Precinct 1, Putrajaya, Federal Territory of Putrajaya, between Aug 17, 2011 and Feb 8, 2012, under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.

Under Section 24 of the Act, he faced 20 years' imprisonment, and a fine of not less than five times the amount or value of the bribe, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

For money laundering, Najib — who is also Pekan member of Parliament — was charged with receiving RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million from illegal proceeds into his two AmIslamic Bank Bhd accounts, bearing the numbers 2112022011880 and 2112022011906.

He was accused of committing the offences at AmBank, 55, Jalan Raja Chulan here between Dec 26, 2014, and Feb 10, 2015.

The charge, under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, sees the politician facing up to 15 years in jail and a fine of RM5 million, or five times the amount, whichever is higher, for each charge.

Read also:

Judge says no to Najib's bid to delay sentencing mitigation

Defence applies for a delay in sentence mitigation for Najib until next Monday

SRC Trial: Najib found guilty of all charges

SRC Trial: Crowd continues to wait outside court complex despite police orders to disperse

The Edge is covering the trial live here.

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