Malaysia's former PM Najib charged with three counts of money laundering


This morning, 65-year-old Najib pleaded not guilty to three counts of money laundering offences related to RM42 million that was the transferred from 1Malaysia Development Bhd's ex-subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Malaysia's new government is probing allegations that billions of dollars were looted from 1MDB, which was set up and overseen by Najib, in an audacious fraud that spanned the globe.

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

Allegations of massive corruption were a major factor behind the electoral quake in May that toppled Najib's long-ruling coalition and ushered in a reformist alliance headed by his 93-year-old former mentor Mahathir Mohamad.

The charges were read out before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali in Malay, to which the former premier pleaded not guilty on Wednesday (Aug 8).

"I just hope the process is fair and he has a fair trial and say in the proceedings".

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If convicted under the money laundering law, he will face a maximum of 15 years in jail and a fine of not more than five times the illegal money allegedly received.

All of the charges against him involve the transfer of 42 million ringgit ($10.3 million) into his bank accounts from SRC International, a former unit of the 1MDB fund that international investigators say was looted of billions by Najib's associates.

On the first charge, he was accused of receiving RM27 million and on the second charge he was accused of receiving RM5 million on the same day and place. It added that the additional charges have been approved by the Attorney-General.

Najib has so far denied any wrongdoing.

The 300-foot (90-meter) Equanimity, kitted out with a pool and helicopter landing pad, was allegedly bought by playboy financier Jho Low, a friend of Najib's family who was said to exert great influence over 1MDB.

Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, have been barred from leaving Malaysia since he lost an election to his former mentor-turned political rival, Mahathir Mohamad.