Najib must pay a court-imposed fine of $65.3m by end of his 12-year prison time

If Najib fails to pay the fine, an additional five-year jail term would be added to his sentence, the court ruled. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has till the end of his 12-year prison term to pay a RM210 million (S$65.3 million) fine imposed by the court, after being found guilty in the case involving a former unit of state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), lawyers say.

While it is not clear whether he had paid the fine, lawyers say he could choose to pay up at any point of time during his imprisonment, Bernama news agency reported.

Najib was sent to Kajang Prison at the edge of Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday (Aug 23) after Malaysia's apex Federal Court upheld a July 2020 verdict of the High Court that he should be imprisoned for 12 years and pay a fine of RM210 million after being found guilty in the SRC International case.

The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court verdict in December last year.

If Najib fails to pay the fine, an additional five-year jail term will be added to his sentence, the court had ruled.

Najib was found guilty of receiving RM42 million of public funds from SRC, a former unit of scandal-plagued 1MDB, into his personal bank accounts.

Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla told Bernama that based on the principle of law, Najib could pay the fine whenever he wants, but must do so by the time his 12-year term was scheduled to end, or remain in prison for another five years.

Lawyer Lim Wei Jiet told the news agency that there was no time limit imposed by the Federal Court on when he must pay. "Hence, he can pay any time during the 12 years," the counsel told Bernama.

Lawyer M.Viswanathan opined that Najib could pay by instalments or even sell property, as provided in Section 283 of the Criminal Procedure Code. "Normally, a reasonable amount of time will be given to make payment," he said.

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