Najib Razak charged with money laundering over 1MDB scandal

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 10, 2018

Dressed in a dark blue suit, Najib appeared calm as the charges were read out at the Kuala Lumpur high court.

The charges were added to an earlier four - three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power - imposed in July on Najib, who founded and chaired 1MDB after becoming prime minister in 2009.

Najib, 65, has been consistent in saying he is not guilty of any of the charges brought against him.

The charges were related to three electronic transfers amounting to RM42 million from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit, into Najib's personal bank account and will be merged with his other charges of bribery and breach of trust.

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.

The judge transferred the case to the high court to be heard later on Wednesday, along with previous charges.

SRC International was a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

About 30 supporters were gathered outside the court, shouting, "Hidup Najib" (Long live Najib).

The attorney general at the time cleared Mr Najib of wrongdoing, and said that the money had been a donation from the Saudi royal family.

Today's charges are based on Section 4 (1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

Investigations into 1MDB have been moving swiftly.

Najib and his allies are accused of plundering billions of dollars from 1MDB to buy everything from USA real estate to artworks.

Money allegedly siphoned off from SRC represents only a small fraction of the billions of dollars misappropriated from 1MDB, according to lawsuits filed in the US courts by the Department of Justice which investigated the scandal.

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. Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho (better known as Jho Low) allegedly bought the yacht using funds stolen from 1MDB.

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