Former Malaysian PM charged with money laundering

Erika Holt
August 10, 2018

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

FORMER prime minister Najib Razak now faces three new charges of money laundering in relation to a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The charges brought by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) are in addition to four graft and abuse of power charges by the authority relating to SRC International, on July 4.

The 65-year-old, who is free on bail, has denied all the charges.

The offense carries a penalty of up to 15 years in jail and a fine of not less than 5 times the value of the proceeds of any illegal transfers, or five million ringgit, whichever is higher.

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As for the sole charge of abusing his position for self-gratification of RM42 million in the course of a government decision, a minor change amended mention of Najib's "participation or involvement in" to just "involvement in" a decision on behalf of the government to give government guarantee for RM4 billion of loans from civil servants' pension fund Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) to SRC International.

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.

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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.

When asked if he felt the charges were politically motivated, Hishammuddin said it was not for him to say.

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.

Investigations into 1MDB have been moving swiftly.

Najib had founded 1MDB and headed its advisory board.

SRC has been the initial focus of Malaysian investigators as all the suspicious transactions involving it went through Malaysian entities, unlike other 1MDB-related transactions that went through foreign banks and companies. Police also seized jewelry and valuables valued at more than 1.1 billion ringgit ($270.2 million) from properties linked to Najib.

The US Justice Department, which is seeking to recover items allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB cash in America, estimates that United States dollars 4.5 billion in total was looted from 1MDB.

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