What’s more unnerving – Najib’s long justice process or possible new Covid-19 cluster?

Guilty, sentenced to 12 years jail and fined RM210 million– that was the verdict handed by the Kuala Lumpur High Court to Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial.

The 67-year-old former prime minister was charged with one count of abuse of power, three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT), and three counts of money laundering, all involving RM42mil misappropriated from SRC International – a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) subsidiary.

High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali sentenced the Pekan MP to 12 years jail and RM210 million fine for the abuse of power offence, 10 years each for the three counts of committing criminal breach of trust and 10 years each for the three money laundering offences. The sentences will run concurrently.

Nazlan later granted a stay of execution for the jail term and fine and ordered Najib’s bail to be increased by RM1 million with two sureties by tomorrow.

He has four other criminal proceedings pending in court.

Also “guilty” were the many Najib supporters at the court complex for failing to observe standard operating procedures, irking Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

“It’s sad to see such a situation with no self-control,” Dr Noor Hisham posted on Twitter, referring to a Bernama article that quoted Ledang MP Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh as saying the gathering outside the court complex could lead to a new Covid-19 cluster.

Physical distancing was non-existent as they chanted “Bossku” with some not even wearing face masks.

This comes as Malaysia recorded 39 news Covid-19 cases, with six new clusters in Kuching and Kubang Pasu.

As for the Najib trial, is this the long-awaited culmination after Najib and his Barisan Nasional party were booted out of Putrajaya in the 2018 general election?

“It’s not a victory at the moment,” said senior lawyer Datuk Haziq Pillay.

“Imagine this is a boxing match and the High Court’s decision is only Round 1.”

Haziq added Najib is expected to appeal to the Court of Appeal and there is also the Federal Court after that.

“It’s far from over. It’s a long journey ahead.”

So, what does the judgment mean?

“It means he is guilty on all seven counts. It also means the justice system prevailed as the findings of the court is based on evidence. It shows that the judiciary is independent,” said Haziq.

Will he still be Pekan MP? Can he contest if a snap election takes place soon?

Haziq said Najib remains Pekan MP, provided he files an appeal within 14 days. However, based on Article 48(5) of the Federal Constitution, he cannot stand for election.

Can the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) drop the other cases against Najib, especially if there is a change in government?

“Yes, the AGC can do so and no one can question the decision,” said Haziq.

According to Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution, the Attorney-General shall have power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings before a Syariah court, a native court or a court martial.

The High Court decision comes exactly five years after Najib sacked his then deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for raising questions on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad issue.

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.

BUSINESSMAN FINED FOR DRINK-DRIVING

The magistrate’s court in Port Dickson fined businessman A. Devarajan RM5,500 for driving under the influence of alcohol.

The 34-year-old, who was detained following a minor accident at KM3.2 Jalan Pantai on July 25, pleaded guilty before magistrate Siti Huzaifah Abd Talib.

She also ordered the accused to serve five months in jail if he was unable to pay the fine.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR NFDP? WHERE ARE 2017 SEA GAMES ACCOUNTS?

A meeting earlier today will set off a series of discussions on the future of the National Football Development Programme (NFDP). Among the questions raised by Twentytwo13  is should the government continue babysitting the programme with taxpayers’ money?

Also, it’s been three years and there is still no sight of the 2017 KL SEA Games accounts.

PARTIAL SUBSIDY FOR 14-DAY QUARANTINE

The cost for 14-day quarantine at a government Covid-19 facility is RM4,700.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Malaysians will only be required to pay a maximum of RM2,100 for their hotel room and three meals a day.

The government will fork out the remaining cost of RM2,600. The fee also covers transportation costs from the entry points to quarantine stations and personal protection equipment for health staff.