Former Malaysian PM Najib charged with criminal breach of trust

Former Malaysian PM Najib charged with criminal breach of trust

Malaysia's former central bank head on Tuesday denied she was aware of a large sum deposited in ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak's account in 2013, adding that he later asked her to issue a statement saying "he had done nothing wrong".

The former prime minister has been charged with corruption and criminal breach of trust in a case linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

During a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, he said the prosecution will challenge the gag-order on Aug 8, which the High Court has fixed for case management.

The charges against him carry a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.

Najib was granted bail set at 1 million ringgit ($247,000).

United States investigators have claimed that Mr Najib's associates stole and laundered $4.5 billion (£3.4bn) from the fund between 2009 to 2014, and 1MDB is being probed in at least six countries for alleged money laundering and graft.

Several vehicles of Umno Supreme Council members and their supporters also left Najib's residence a few minutes before the vehicle bringing him left.

"My dear Malaysians, if you are listening to this message, it means that actions have been taken against me", Najib says, according to a translation from Channel News Asia.

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That is only a fraction of the total amount allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.

US investigators say $4.5 billion was stolen and laundered from 1MDB by Najib's associates, including some $700 million that landed in Najib's bank account.

Wednesday's court hearing was the latest step in a quick-moving investigation into alleged wrongdoing by Najib, his family and many of his close political and business allies.

MACC has been able to track the money trail from SRC more easily because transactions were made through Malaysian entities, whereas most other transfers of 1MDB funds went through foreign banks and companies.

Anti-corruption officers arrived at his house in four unmarked cars and escorted the former PM to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Since his loss at the polls, Najib has been barred from leaving the country and had millions of dollars of items seized from properties linked to his family. "Let investigations be conducted first, I have not had the chance to defend myself", Najib's voiceover said.

A spokesman for Najib said the SRC charges and the 1MDB investigations against the former leader were "politically motivated", and that Najib will contest these charges and clear his name in court.

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