Ex-Malaysia PM Najib charged with three counts of money laundering

Elias Hubbard
August 8, 2018

Last month he pleaded not guilty to abuse of power and breach of trust charges.

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.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak's criminal charges are wholly unrelated to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDD) and the government's seizure of the RM1.08 billion yacht named Equanimity, his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said today.

Najib stood calmly in the dock on Wednesday as the charges were read to him.

The charges - which Najib denies - relate to three transfers totalling 42m ringgit (US$10m) into his bank accounts from SRC International, a former unit of the 1MDB fund that USA investigators say was looted of billions by Najib's associates. Asked if he understood them, Najib responded: "I understand". Today's charges, which relate to the same funds from SRC International, will be heard together with the July case.

This is just a fraction of the $681 million that was mysteriously transferred to Najib´s personal bank accounts several years ago, sparking uproar in Malaysia.

Najib, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and his allies are accused of plundering billions of dollars from 1MDB to buy everything from United States real estate to artworks.

Lawsuits filed in USA 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.

Investigations into 1MDB have been moving swiftly.

The anti-graft agency said in a statement on Tuesday that the former prime minister had returned to assist their investigations into SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor led a life of luxury, allegedly funded by stolen public money, that came to symbolise the rot in an elite that had ruled the country uninterrupted since Malaysia´s independence from Britain in 1957.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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