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Malaysian ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak
Image: Getty Images/AFP/M. Rasfan

Malaysian ex-PM Najib Razak charged with money-laundering

August 8, 2018

The former Malaysian Prime Minister has been hit with new charges related to a huge financial scandal. If he is convicted he faces up to 20 years in prison for each charge.


Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to three new charges of money laundering.

The charges are linked to a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal that played a key role in Razak's shock defeat by 93-year-old Mahathir Mohamad in the country's general election in May.

Details of the case

  • The new charges relate to 42 million Malaysian ringgit (€8.8 million, $10 million dollars) that was reportedly transferred into Nazak's personal bank account.
  • The suspected bribe came from SRC International, a former subsidiary of the 1MDB state fund.
  • Assets purchased using 1MDB money include a $250-million superyacht, real estate, jewellery and a Pablo Picasso painting.
  • The attorney general at the time Najib was prime minister — who had ties to Najib's party — initially cleared the leader of wrongdoing, saying the money was a donation from the Saudi royal family.

Read more: Malaysia says seized items in ex-premier probe valued at €234 million 

What is 1MDB: Officially named 1 Malaysia Development Berhad, 1MDB is a state-owned strategic development company founded in 2009 that aims to establish initiatives in industries such as energy, tourism and agriculture. Following Mahathir Mohamad's win in the 2018 general election, Asri Hamidon was appointed as 1MDB's new chairman. He is also the deputy-secretary general responsible for government investment at the Treasury.

What's next: In Wednesday's proceedings, the court decided that it would wait until Friday to fix the dates for Najib's trial and hear his lawyer's application for a permanent gag order on his case to prevent public discussion about it. The case has sparked outrage in Malaysia and resulted in thousands of people protesting against Najib while he was in office.

law/rt (AFP, dpa)

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