Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali made history when he announced the verdict against Najib Abdul Razak and made him the first former Malaysian prime minister to be convicted for corruption
Following Najib's conviction, many rumours have surfaced in regard to Nazlan's identity.
One of the most popular allegations made by social media users is that Nazlan, aged 51, has relations to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. A few people questioned the judge's credibility and accused him of being either the grandson or grandnephew of Tun M.
Several netizens assumed that Mohd Nazlan was the son of a man named Ghazali Ali, the brother of Tun Dr Siti Hasmah.
This included Pertubuhan Minda dan Sosial Prihatin Malaysia president Ramesh Rao who wrote, "The judge for the 'bossku' trial is actually a relative of Tun Mahathir. No wonder the judge is so arrogant and rude!"
Tun Mahathir's children have since come forward to address the allegations made against Nazlan
A check by SAYS found that Tun Dr Siti Hasmah does not, in fact, have any siblings named Ghazali Ali.
On Wednesday, 30 July, Marina Mahathir told Malaysiakini, "We should be flattered that they think such a learned judge is related to us but he's not."
Meanwhile, Mukhriz Mahathir tweeted, "Allegations that are truly baseless! Do not make absurd claims. (The) Attorney-General should investigate this accusation as it clearly insults the judicial institution."
So who is Mohd Nazlan?
Well here are a few facts about the judge who found Najib guilty of corruption and sentenced him to 12 years of prison:
1. He is an alumnus of Malay College Kuala Kangsar
The Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) is an all-boys premier residential school in Perak.
It is a very distinguished institution and boasts a list of notable alumni including the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Pakatan Harapan leader Anwar Ibrahim, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hishammuddin Hussein, and former chairman of Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) Razali Ismail.
As a rebuttal against the recent rumours claiming that Nazlan is related to Tun Dr Siti Hasmah, a few people pointed out that the judge is actually the son of an educator, Mohd Ghazali Mohd Hanafiah.
Nazlan's father, who passed away in 2018, taught at MCKK in the early 1960s and served the school as a headmaster for two years.
2. He graduated from the prestigious University of Oxford
Nazlan pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence at the University of Oxford. According to the university website, it is a three-year undergraduate law degree, equivalent to what in some universities would be called a Bachelor of Laws or LLB.
Not only that, but The Star also reported that Nazlan furthered his studies and completed a Master of Arts programme from the same university.
3. Nazlan served with the Securities Commission as its head of enforcement before moving to Maybank, where he was head of corporate and legal services, general counsel, and executive vice-president
For about seven years until 2000, he worked at the Securities Commission. Before leaving the statutory body, his last position was the Head Manager of the Enforcement Division with overall responsibility for the investigation, prosecution, and complaints departments.
4. He will also oversee the corruption case for UMNO's Putrajaya MP Tengku Adnan
According to The Malaysian Reserve, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor's corruption trial will resume before Justice Nazlan on 23 November.
The date was set after deputy public prosecutor Lailawati Ali informed the court of a Federal Courts decision, made on 17 July, allowing Nazlan to continue to preside over the trial.
The former minister of federal territories is currently facing corruption charges of accepting RM2 million in bribes.
Previously, Tengku Adnan became infuriated at the High Court when his assets' worth was publicly revealed.
5. The hearing of UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will also resume before Justice Nazlan
Malay Mail reported that Zahid’s trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court involves 47 charges related to alleged bribery, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering.
He previously dismissed the prosecution's application to review the decision of the Sessions Court in allowing Zahid's case to be transferred to Shah Alam Sessions Court.
The prosecution cited transportation issues and said that it would be more convenient for Zahid if the case was observed in Kuala Lumpur.
As reported by New Straits Times, the no-nonsense Nazlan said, "Based on the record of proceedings of the Sessions Court, the transferring of the seven charges to the Sessions Court in Shah Alam, or the transfer order, is not incorrect, illegal, or improper to justify this court reviewing the transfer order of the Sessions Court. Based on the above grounds I dismiss the application."
He added, "In present-day Malaysia, however, there is little practical difference between Shah Alam and Kuala Lumpur given the progress made to road and transportation system in the Klang Valley. It is also certainly not uncommon to find those who work in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya to reside in Shah Alam or vice versa and this has not taken into account potential witnesses for the defence should they be called."
Mohd Nazlan previously dismissed Najib's bid for a gag order on the grounds that it violates freedom of speech and expression: