The guilty verdict against former prime minister Najib Razak in the first of the 1MDB trials could strengthen the current government’s hand after months of political turmoil.

Najib faces at least 12 years in prison after the High Court on Tuesday found him guilty of all seven charges in a case involving millions he received from a former unit of troubled state fund 1MDB. He’s out on bail and his lawyer said he would appeal the ruling, but a criminal conviction would complicate any efforts by Najib to seek office again.

The decision could bolster Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s political capital at a time when his administration controls a razor-thin majority in parliament and talk of a snap election is heating up. The current leader relies on Najib’s United Malays National Organisation party for support and was seen to be at risk of succumbing to pressure from UMNO on policy matters -- including on how he treats the 1MDB cases.

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