Malaysian ex-PM Najib denies abuse of power charge

Jul 05, 2018, 03:29
Malaysian ex-PM Najib denies abuse of power charge

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was charged in court Wednesday with criminal breach of trust and corruption, two months after a multibillion dollar graft scandal at a state investment fund led to his shock election defeat.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In a stunning fall from grace, Najib was arrested at his home on Tuesday as part of the investigations into 1MDB revived by his successor and mentor-turned-foe Mahathir Mohamad since the surprise May 9 election.

Malaysia's former prime minister, Najib Razak, on Wednesday said he was innocent and had a chance to clear his name, hours after being charged with offences including abuse of power.

PROSECUTORS in Malaysia have charged former premier Najib Razak with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power amid global graft probe into the country's state fund scandal.

The charges carry sentences of between two and 20 years with possible caning and fines.

There were also shouts of "Melayu" and "Hidup Melayu", a cheer championing Malays, the country's dominant race, as well as chants for Najib to be released.

A Najib spokesman did not immediately have a comment.

Riot police arrives at court house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Mahathir said in an interview with Reuters last month that embezzlement and bribery with government money were among the charges that Malaysia was looking to bring against Najib, 64, adding that Najib was fully responsible for the 1MDB scandal.

While many Malaysians are engrossed with the updates following Najib's arrest, a close family member has made a decision to request the people's sympathy over the man's arrest through a social media post.

In the latest twist, the country's new government has reopened investigations into the controversial fund - a move that could put a former prime minister in jail.

Najib came to power in 2009 and soon after founded 1MDB which is being investigated in at least six countries for alleged money laundering. Police have also seized jewelry and valuables valued at more than $272 million from properties linked to Najib.

In March, Red Granite Pictures, which also produced big-budget Hollywood films such as "Dumb and Dumber" and "Big Daddy" agreed to pay US$60 million to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to settle a lawsuit alleging its use of illicit funds to make the movies. Najib has said the funds were a donation from a Saudi royal.

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