Alongside the prison sentence, Najib was also ordered to pay a 210 million ringgit ($46.8 million) fine.
What was Najib convicted of?
He was convicted of looting the 1MDB state development fund. Najib still faces other charges in several ongoing trials, and his wife Rosmah Mansor is also on trial for corruption.
Najib set up the 1MDB shortly after taking power in 2009. Successive governments ramped up investigations after his electoral defeat in 2018.
Najib was found guilty of seven charges of corruption for illegally receiving $9.4 million from former 1MDB unit SRC International.
The conviction means he will lose his parliamentary seat and cannot contest elections.
Also read: Malaysias Najib Starts Final Bid to Overturn 1MDB Jail Sentence
Investigators alleged that at least $4.5 billion was stolen from the fund and laundered by Najib’s associates. The scandal led to the opening of investigations in the US and several other countries. Najib said he was “unfairly treated” and that the case had been rushed through.
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said the verdict was a testament to the rule of law, praising the justices’ “courageous” decision.
“This is a historic moment for Malaysia, where the most senior leader has actually now faced an unprecedented moment of political accountability,” said Bridget Welsh, a Southeast Asian expert at Malaysia’s Nottingham University, as cited by the AP news agency.
“For this decision, which is the first of many cases involving this particular scandal, to move in this particular direction really is a testimony to the rule of law in Malaysia, and the strengthening of the demands for the rule of law in Malaysia,” she said.
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