Malaysian ex-PM begins appeal of 1MDB conviction

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak appeared in court on Monday, as he began an appeal over his conviction on corruption charges linked to 1MDB.

Since his arrest in 2018, Najib has faced multiple trials over allegations that 4.5 billion dollars was stolen from the state fund, which he co-founded in 2009.

Prosecutors say one billion dollars made its way into Najib's personal accounts, over which he faces a total of 42 criminal charges.

Najib has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Last year, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined 50 million dollars after being found guilty of of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering.

But his sentences were stayed - pending an appeal.

According to documents submitted to the court ahead of the hearing, Najib's defence lawyers are expected to argue that the judge in his previous trial had made a mistake in dismissing crucial evidence.

That evidence would allegedly show that Najib had been misled by 1MDB-linked officials into believing the funds in his account were actually a donation from the Saudi royal family.

The officials include Malaysian financier Jho Low, whose whereabouts are currently unknown.

Low has also denied any wrongdoing.

The court will hear the appeal in a 12-day span between Monday and the 22nd of April.