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'We believe in our innocence', say Najib and lawyers as they pledge to appeal 1MDB verdict

'We believe in our innocence', say Najib and lawyers as they pledge to appeal 1MDB verdict

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak arrives at Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia July 28, 2020. REUTERS/ Lim Huey Teng

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak on Tuesday (Jul 28) reiterated his innocence, while pledging to launch an appeal after being convicted of seven corruption-related charges.

Speaking to reporters in a press conference after the sentencing, Najib said he was positive despite the outcome.

“We believe in our innocence and we believe we have a strong case. But of course, we have to convince the judges.

“Shafee will continue to lead the team. He is very determined to get the outcome we want,” he said, referring to his counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah. 

Earlier in the day, High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali had sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and fined him RM210 million (US$49.38 million). 

Najib was found guilty of one charge of abuse of power, three charges of criminal breach of trust and three charges of money laundering. 

READ: Former Malaysia PM Najib Razak sentenced to 12 years in jail following guilty verdict in 1MDB trial

Najib added during the press conference: “I am obviously not satisfied with what has happened."

"But the High Court is the first court and it (the sentence) is only decided by a judge. We still have the benefit to go to the Court of Appeal, where there are three judges. Hopefully, there we can argue our points that can be accepted,” he said.

“Now we appeal to the Court of Appeal and then to the Federal Court. It will be done in the soonest. We hope the appeal can be done as fast as possible because I want to continue efforts to clean my name and I will continue this fight."

Following the sentencing, Mr Shafee had applied for Najib to be granted a stay of execution pending appeal. 

The judge granted the stay of execution but added that Najib had to pay a bail amount of RM2 million by Wednesday with two sureties. He will also need to change his status to “convict” and present himself at the nearest police station on the first and 15th day of each month. 

READ: Outcome of 1MDB trial a 'big victory' for Malaysians, says Pakatan Harapan

Mr Shafee when commenting on the events of the day said he was confident of winning the appeal case in the apex courts. 

“I think our challenge on the appeal will be mounted on a higher gear because we believe that our case is strong. 

“The grounds of the judgement are honest but he (the judge) has made so many mistakes. I feel that we have got the strongest of chances to win the appeal,” he said.

READ: Goldman Sachs, Malaysia agree to US$3.9 billion settlement over 1MDB

Lead prosecutor V Sithambaram when met outside court said he was pleased with the sentencing. 

“As prosecutors, we came with evidence and we presented the evidence. We are pleased it was accepted by court,” he said. 

Source: CNA/ga


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