KUALA LUMPUR - Supporters of ex-premier Najib Razak have thrown wild accusations about Malaysian Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who found ex-premier Najib Razak guilty on Tuesday (July 28), as they try to discredit the court's judgment.
A staunch supporter of Najib, Mr Ramesh Rao, who leads a non-governmental organisation (NGO), claimed Justice Nazlan was either the grandson or grandnephew of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Others, in an attempt to show the judge is sympathetic to the opposition parties, pointed out on social media that Mr Nazlan was one of the judges who acquitted and discharged a lawmaker from the Democratic Action Party (DAP) on charges of supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam terrorist group.
Datuk Lokman Noor Adam, who was a senior officer at the finance ministry when Najib was the finance minister, accused the High Court of making a "political decision". He claimed Najib is a threat to both Tun Dr Mahathir and Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, according to Utusan Malaysia website.
"I am sure that what happened today (Tuesday) is the continuation of oppression conducted by Pakatan Harapan (PH)," he was quoted as telling reporters on Tuesday.
PH was ousted from power nearly five months ago, and replaced by the Perikatan Nasional government that included Najib's Umno party as an alliance member.
Najib was on Tuesday found guilty of corruption and sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million (S$68 million) by the High Court, in the first of five trials he faces relating to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) graft scandal.
Judge Nazlan found Najib, 67, guilty of every single charge, including abuse of power, and multiple counts of criminal breach of trust and money laundering for illegally receiving RM42 million from SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB.
Contacted by Malaysiakini on Tuesday, Dr Mahathir's eldest child, Ms Marina Mahathir, 63, said such claims were untrue.
"We should be flattered that they think such a learned judge is related to us but he's not," she told Malaysiakini.
Dr Mahathir's eldest grandchild is 33 years old.
Justice Nazlan, who took over the case in August 2018, was reported then to be 51 years old.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence and a Master of Arts from the University of Oxford, and is a Barrister at Law of Lincoln's Inn, The Star newspaper reported then.
Dr Mahathir's youngest son, MP Mukhriz Mahathir, called the claims of the judge being related to his family as "baseless".
"The Attorney-General's Chambers should investigate these claims as they insult the judicial institution," he said in a post on Twitter late on Tuesday.
A group of Umno’s young lawyers asked supporters to be careful so as not to be in contempt of the court and land themselves in jail.
"Everything that has happened since the charges were laid is a process for Najib to seek justice," said Umno Youth young lawyers secretariat head Nik Saiful Adli Burhan, Malaysiakini on Wednesday (July 29) quoted him as saying. "We supporters should not (act in contempt) and land ourselves in jail".
He urged party supporters to respect the courts and the judicial system.