Dr Mahathir Mohamad has again questioned the delay in the court’s decision on Najib Razak’s appeal against his conviction and sentence for corruption, saying he has been moving about freely for months despite being found guilty of money laundering, abuse of power and criminal breach of trust involving millions in funds from former 1MDB unit SRC International.
In a blog post today, Mahathir blasted the delay, saying the date of appeal had been fixed in April.
“The entire time, he has been free to move about like an innocent person,” he said. “His case has not been heard due to a litany of excuses.
“He can attend the Dewan Rakyat even though he cannot go to court. Sometimes he claims he is unwell.
“The Court of Appeal has heard his appeal, but it postponed its decision on the matter. Six months have passed now, and the court has yet to make a decision. Now this convict has been allowed to go to Singapore.”
Najib, who was convicted of seven counts of money laundering, abuse of power and CBT in July last year, was recently allowed the temporary release of his passport to visit his daughter in Singapore.
He and his wife Rosmah Mansor, who is also facing criminal charges but was likewise granted the temporary release of her passport, were slated to travel to Singapore together. However, Najib later applied for an amendment of dates in order to accommodate preparations for the Melaka state election, to be held on Nov 20.
He is now expected to leave for the city-state on Nov 21, the day after the polls.
Mahathir, who recently labelled Najib a “VIP criminal”, said even if the Court of Appeal upholds his conviction, he would then appeal to the Federal Court.
“This will take time, too,” he said. “The 15th general election is around the corner, and Najib has yet to be confirmed as guilty by the Court of Appeal. He will definitely be able to contest in GE15.”
Mahathir added that many corrupt people were now free to travel across the world while their sentences were either suspended or dropped.
“The people must be proud,” he said. “Those who steal RM10 are put behind bars immediately. Those who steal RM1 billion can escape jail.
“Yet again, the world is amazed by Malaysia, an example of a liberal democracy where the winners lose, the losers win, those who steal a little are jailed, and those who steal much go free.”