Najib’s daughter says judge who acquitted dad of 1MDB audit tampering case same person who convicted mum Rosmah, ruling factual
KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — Nooryana Najwa Najib has a reminder for sceptics who question the acquittal of her father and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak of the 1MDB audit tampering charge last week.
The only daughter of Najib and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor told the sceptics who think the ruling last Friday favoured her father that the trial judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan was the same person who found her mother guilty of all three charges of soliciting and accepting bribes amounting to RM194 million in return for assisting in a RM1.25 billion government contract to supply energy to rural schools in Sarawak last year.
“The judge who made the ruling was the same judge who sentenced my mother,” Nooryana told Mingguan Malaysia, the weekend edition of Utusan Malaysia, in an interview published today.
“When I heard the verdict, he made the decision based on facts, that’s important and there was no political element,” she added.
On September 1 last year, Mohamed Zaini the High Court judge convicted Rosmah of bribery and sentenced her to 10 years in jail and a record fine of RM970 million.
The fine is five times the bribe amount, the maximum allowable under the Section 16 of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act with which Rosmah was charged.
Rosmah will have to serve an additional 10 years if she fails to pay the fine, but the sentence is on hold pending her appeal.
Nooryana said that throughout her father’s trials, he has been confident that he did nothing wrong.
“So if we see a judge acting fairly using the facts, I believe he can get complete justice,” she added.
Mohamed Zaini ruled last Friday that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case for Najib to answer in the removal of key information from the auditor-general’s 2016 report on sovereign investment company 1MDB.
This means Najib, who was also the former finance minister, no longer has to face the charge under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.
Nooryana told Mingguan Malaysia that she was thankful to see her father receive “justice” that day, and recalled some supporters were overjoyed with the decision that they called out “Yana, Bossku is back”.
Yana is Nooryana’s nickname while Bossku is the moniker given to Najib.
“But I said no, he won in the 1MDB money report amendment case, so now we should give priority and focus on the SRC judgement case which will be determined before the end of the month.
“Pray that my father, Bossku, will get justice and come home to be with us,” she was quoted saying.
In the 1MDB audit tampering trial, Najib was accused of having abused his position as prime minister and finance minister between February 22 and February 26, 2016, by allegedly instructing for amendments to the 1MDB audit report — which was already ready to be presented to the parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) — before it was finally presented to the PAC.
Najib was accused of having done so to protect himself from civil or criminal action over his role in the handling of 1MDB operations.
In order to prove a prima facie case for Najib to defend himself, the prosecution would have to prove all elements of the Section 23(1) charge against him, namely that Najib was an officer of a public body and that he used his office for “gratification”.
The High Court noted that there was no dispute with the first element as Najib was an officer of a public body as the prime minister and finance minister then, but concluded that the prosecution failed to prove the second element involving gratification.
This ultimately led to Najib’s acquittal last Friday.
However, Najib was convicted of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power involving RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1MDB in July 2020.
He was fined RM210 million for the seven charges and started serving his 12-year jail sentence at Kajang Prison on August 23, 2022 but is continuing to appeal the conviction.