Published: Sat, September 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Malaysia ex-PM faces 21 new charges over 1MDB scandal

Malaysia ex-PM faces 21 new charges over 1MDB scandal

Mr Najib, 64, appeared in court in Kuala Lumpur today after being detained by the anti-corruption commission yesterday over allegations that almost £500 million of money linked to a state investment fund was channelled into his personal bank accounts.

The 65-year-old Pekan MP pleaded not guilty to the charges, which were read out before Judge Azura Alwi.

His alleged connection to the scandal surrounding state development fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd. contributed heavily to his surprise electoral defeat in May. The Malay Mail reported that the bail was set at RM3.5 million with two sureties.

After Pakatan Harapan's shocking win in the May 9 general election, the authorities began investigating, conducting home searches and bringing charges against Najib.

Najib's lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, described the charges against his client as "bizarre".

Early last month, Najib was charged with three counts of money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFPUAA).

On Thursday morning, Najib was taken to the commercial crime investigation department to record a police statement. He will also stand trial on another 21 charges of receiving, using and transferring illicit funds linked to the 1MDB state fund.

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Malaysia's former Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks to journalists as he leaves a court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia September 20, 2018.

Earlier today, the prosecution team led by Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram told the court that it objected to bail being granted to Najib for the 25 counts of money-laundering and power abuse charges that he faced over almost RM2.3 billion of funds.

Police have said investigations show that $972 million was transferred into Najib's bank accounts from three companies linked to 1MDB.

Najib will appear in court Thursday afternoon where he faces several charges related to abuse of power, the anti-corruption commission said. He repeated his assertion that the money was largely a political donation from Saudi Arabia's royal family ahead of 2013 national elections and that most was returned shortly after the polls.

Azam Baki, the deputy commissioner of the anti-graft agency, said more charges could be brought against individuals.

When asked whether Najib's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, would also be charged, Azam did not deny it.

Najib was said to have received and used the illegal money during his term of office between 2011 and 2014.

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