15:33 | 06/07/2018 Global Economy
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak made his appearance in court in Kuala Lumpur on July 4 for corruption-related charges over his alleged involvement in the multibillion-dollar 1MBD scandal.
|Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (centre) comes to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters in Putrajaya - Photo: AFP/VNA|
Najib was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust in his former posts as a prime minister and minister of finance, in association with the transfer of 42 million Malaysian ringgit (US$10 million) from SRC International, a subsidiary of the 1MBD, to his personal bank accounts between August 2011 and March 2015.
He also faced one count of corruption.
Each count carries a fine and a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Najib pleaded not guilty to all charges at the court.
Najib founded the 1MDB investment fund in 2009 with the aim of serving Malaysia’s development through global partnerships and foreign direct investment.
However, it became the center of a money laundering scandal, allegedly causing losses of up to US$3.7 billion and leading to probes into the financial markets in several countries such as the US, Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia, and China.
In early May, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission summoned Najib and his wife for investigation. From recent raids on several Najib’s properties in Kuala Lumpur, police also seized a large quantity of valuables worth up to US$273 million.
New Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said one of the top priorities of his government is dealing with the corruption and recovering the losses from 1MDB. The Malaysian Government also re-investigated the 1MDB case and set up a special committee to look into the problems surrounding this fund.
The criminal and corruption trial of former Malaysian PM is expected to begin in February next year.