Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Malaysia's former PM Najib charged with 3 counts of money laundering

Malaysia's former PM Najib charged with 3 counts of money laundering

He pleaded not guilty to those charges.

NAJIB Razak should be given his day in court to defend himself in a trial that is based on rule of law, said the former prime minister's cousin and former cabinet member Hishammuddin Hussein.

The money laundering charges come a month after he claimed trial to three charges of criminal breach of trust and one charge of abuse of power at the High Court. He faces up to 15 years in jail for each charge.

Malaysia´s new government is probing allegations that billions of dollars were looted from state fund 1MDB, which was set up and overseen by Najib, in an audacious fraud that spanned the globe.

The case was earlier heard before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi, who allowed the prosecution's application to transfer the case to the High Court.

Public anger led to the defeat of Najib's long-ruling coalition in May's vote, ushering in the first change of power since the country gained independence from Britain in 1957.

Najib, 65, has been consistent in saying he is not guilty of any of the charges brought against him. According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, about $10 million originating from SRC was transferred to Najib´s personal bank accounts.

All the charges relate to SRC International, an energy company that was originally a subsidiary of 1MDB.

The court heard that RM27 million and RM10 million were transferred into the same account, and RM5 million was transferred into a different account.

Lawsuits filed in United States courts by the Department of Justice allege that an estimated $4.5bn was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates.

Police also seized jewellery and valuables valued at more than 1.1 billion ringgit (£208m) from properties linked to Mr Najib.

He appeared at the MACC office in Kuala Lumpur yesterday after he was summoned by the anti-graft agency.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad campaigned during the 14th General Elections in Malaysia in May on the basis of "catching Dato Seri Najib Razak" who was then accused of syphoning billions from the 1mdb.

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