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Malaysia’s top court upholds former PM Najib’s jail sentence in 1MDB case

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Malaysia’s highest court has upheld former prime minister Najib Razak’s 12-year jail sentence for corruption in the 1MDB financial scandal.

“We find the appeal devoid of any merits. We find the conviction and sentence to be safe,” Chief Justice Maimun Tuan Mat said on Tuesday on behalf of a five-judge panel.

“Based on the foregoing, it is our unanimous view that the evidence led during the trial points overwhelmingly to guilt on all seven charges.”

Maimun said “it would have been a travesty of justice of the highest order if any reasonable tribunal, faced with such evidence staring it in the face, were to find that the appellant is not guilty of the seven charges preferred against him”.

The Federal Court decision was handed down after the tribunal threw out a last-minute move by Najib’s lawyers to recuse the chief justice from hearing the case, alleging bias on her part.

Najib is a UK-educated son of one of Malaysia’s founding fathers who had been groomed for the prime minister’s post from a young age.

READ MORE: Malaysia’s ex-PM Najib attempts to nullify 1MDB conviction on his final try

Breach of trust

The final ruling on the jail sentence also came four years after his long-ruling party’s shock election defeat in 2018, during which allegations he and his friends embezzled billions of dollars from state fund 1MDB were key campaign issues.

A lower court in July 2020 found Najib guilty of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust over the transfer of 42 million ringgit ($10.1 million) from SRC International, a former unit of state fund 1MDB, to his personal bank account.

An appellate court in December denied his appeal, prompting him to go to the Federal Court for a final recourse.

READ MORE: Malaysia’s Najib begins final bid to overturn 1MDB jail punishment

Source: TRT

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Maldives discusses strengthening cooperation with Bahrain

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa have discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The discussions took place during President Solih’s ongoing state visit to Bahrain.

Upon their arrival at the Al-Qudaibiya Palace, President Solih and First Lady Fazna were received by King Hamad. It was followed by a welcome ceremony that included the performance of the national anthems of both countries and the introduction of their respective delegations.

During the meeting, the two leaders discussed ways to strengthen the close bilateral cooperation and areas of mutual interest between the two countries, including increasing connectivity, and bilateral and developmental cooperation. They expressed hope that the visit would lay the groundwork for a new era in the Maldives-Bahrain relationship while also enhancing and broadening existing ties. During the discussion, King Hamad also commended the tourism model of the Maldives. In light of the range of areas in which the two countries collaborate, both leaders expressed their gratification that the state visit, the first such visit by a Maldivian president to Bahrain, had been fruitful, with both countries agreeing to cooperate in a variety of fields.

Furthermore, President Solih highlighted the warm hospitality that had been accorded to him, First Lady Fazna, and the Maldivian delegation throughout their stay and expressed his heartfelt gratitude. Following the discussion, the president and the king met one-on-one to further discuss matters of cooperation.

Source: psmnews

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Maldives and Bahrain exchange four key agreements

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The Maldives and Bahrain have exchanged four key agreements, demonstrating a pivotal point of progress in the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa presided over the agreement signing ceremony at the Qudaibiya Palace in Bahrain. The agreements include the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Political Consultations exchanged between the ministries of foreign affairs of both countries and the MoU for Cooperation on Diplomatic Training and Exchange of Information and Documentation between the Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa Academy for Diplomatic Studies and the Foreign Service Institute of the Maldives (FOSIM).

The agreements also include the MoU on Cooperation in the Area of Youth and Sports Development between the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs of Bahrain and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment of the Maldives, and the MoU on Climate Change between Supreme Council for Environment of Bahrain and Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology the Government of the Maldives.

At the ceremony, two additional agreements were also announced. The first agreement concerns the Maldives as a sea-to-air partner which provides access to Bahrain’s global sea-to-air logistics hub, and the second agreement grants the Maldives sovereignty over the data of its beneficiaries in Bahrain-based data centres.

 

Source: psmnews

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New seaplane terminal at VIA inaugurated

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The new seaplane terminal at Velana International Airport (VIA0 was inaugurated on Thursday.

‘Noovilu Seaplane Terminal’ was inaugurated during a special ceremony on Thursday morning by Vice President Faisal Naseem, Maldives Airports Company Limited’s (MACL) Chairman Mohamed Umar Manik and the Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Wang Lixin.

The ceremony was also attended by Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi and other senior government officials.

The new seaplane terminal is a USD 55 million worth project. While the terminal measures 28,000 square meters – its MRO Facility measures 8,836 square meters. The VVIP section measures 100 square meters.

Hailing as the largest seaplane terminal in the world – ‘Noovilu Seaplane Terminal’ has 42 lounges of which all except two have been leased to resorts. MACL’s ‘Vilu’ business lounge had 235 seats, whilst ‘Neeru’ lounge has 315 seats.

In addition to this new seaplane terminal, the newly developed Code F runway at VIA was also operationalized on Thursday morning with the landing of the inaugural flight. The Emirates’ aircraft had been inbound from Dubai, and upon landing was welcomed by a water salute.

Both these projects were incepted during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom’s administration under an initiative to further develop the airport. The work was carried out by China’s Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG).

The airport development project valued at USD 800 million (MVR 12.3 billion) saw the establishment of a new VIP terminal at VIA. A new passenger terminal and a fuel farm are also being developed under the project.

 

Source: Sun.Mv

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