A PAINTING BY Monet and a superyacht. Diamond jewellery and a transparent piano. Many of the things that were bought with the $4.5bn that America’s
A PAINTING BY Monet and a superyacht. Diamond jewellery and a transparent piano. Many of the things that were bought with the $4.5bn that America’s Department of Justice says disappeared between 2009 and 2015 from 1MDB, a Malaysian sovereign-wealth fund, were rather flashy. The spree attracted investigations in at least six countries.
On July 28th a court in Malaysia convicted Najib Razak, the former prime minister who co-founded and chaired the fund, of seven charges of abuse of power, breach of trust and money-laundering relating to the scandal. The court sentenced him to 12 years in prison and fined him 210m ringgit ($49m). Mr Najib will remain free pending his appeals, which will probably drag on for months. The verdicts came days after Goldman Sachs reached a settlement with Malaysian authorities related to its underwriting of three bond-offerings that raised $6.5bn for 1MDB. The bank will hand over $3.9bn: it is paying $2.5bn in cash and promising to return at least $1.4bn in assets linked to the bonds.
The trial was the first of several facing Mr Najib, who denies wrongdoing. This one concerned payments totalling 42m ringgit made to him by SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB. After hearing evidence for almost 16 months, the judge poured cold water on the argument that Mr Najib had been deceived by associates. He also questioned Mr Najib’s claim that he thought…