Najib pleads not guilty to money laundering

10 Agosto, 2018, 09:27 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak arrives for a court appearance at the Duta court complex in Kuala Lumpur

The prosecution today amended its initial criminal and corruption charges against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the High Court here.

He also pleaded not guilty to abuse of power and three counts of criminal breach of trust last month.

In a packed courtroom, the three new charges were read out to Najib.

The charges were related to accusations that 42 million ringgit (about US $10.3 million) was illegally diverted into Najib's personal bank accounts from SRC International, an energy company that used to be a subsidiary of the state fund 1MDB.

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The sums involved are just a fraction of the $681 million that was mysteriously transferred to Najib's personal bank accounts several years ago, sparking uproar in Malaysia.

1MDB is being investigated by at least six countries, including Singapore, Switzerland and the United States, over alleged money laundering and graft.

Meanwhile, the High Court will hear submissions this Friday on the gag order on the case that was issued earlier and to set trial dates.

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He pleaded not guilty to those charges.

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

Tan Sri Irwan was removed from his post and that of 1MDB chairman after Najib was ousted.

Najib had founded 1MDB and headed its advisory board.

However, wife Rosmah and he are barred from leaving the country by the newly-elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who relaunched an investigation into 1MDB.

After Mr Najib's election defeat, police seized a vast trove of items - including expensive handbags and jewellery - from properties linked to him with an estimated value of up to $273m.

Najib set up 1MDB when he took power in 2009 for the stated objective of promoting economic development, but the fund amassed billions in debts and is being investigated in the US and several other countries for alleged cross-border embezzlement and money laundering. Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho (better known as Jho Low) allegedly bought the yacht using funds stolen from 1MDB.

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