Ex-Malaysian PM Najib Arrested amid Embezzlement Scandal Probe

Marsha Scott
July 4, 2018

A Malaysian police officer pushes a trolley during a raid of three apartments in a condominum owned by former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak's family, in Kuala Lumpur, May 17, 2018, in this photo taken by The Straits Times.

The prosecution team, led by Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, had earlier requested bail of RM1 million for each charge.

Najib has denied any wrongdoing, saying the money in his accounts were a political donation from Saudi royalty, and that he has never abused public funds for personal gain.

SRC, an energy company that was originally a subsidiary of state fund 1MDB, was placed under the jurisdiction of the Finance Ministry in 2012.

Malaysia's new prime minister, 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, made the 1MDB investigation a priority upon entering office in May, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

"The task force is also not in a position to decide whether or not Najib will be charged and/or when he is to be charged", Mr Varughese said in a statement yesterday.

Najib, wearing a suit and a red tie, appeared calm and smiled as he was escorted into the court complex packed with reporters on Wednesday.

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SN Nair said the burden was on the prosecutors to produce credible witnesses who could withstand cross-examination by the former prime minister's lawyers.

"I claim trial", he said in a barely audible voice as he stood in the dock at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

The Wall Street Journal, which brought the scandal to worldwide attention, published a report in 2015 that investigators looking into 1MDB had "traced almost $700 million of deposits into what they believe are the personal bank accounts" of Najib.

Najib and his wife were questioned last month over the SRC case by the anti-graft agency and have both been barred from leaving the country. And sources close to the matter said he may face several charges.

That includes luxury handbags, jewelry, various other goods, and even cash, and they were seized as part of a wide-ranging investigation into 1MDB, a state investment firm that is embroiled in a massive scandal in Malaysia and from which Razak is accused of embezzling millions.

USA investigators say $4.5 billion is suspected to have been looted and laundered from the fund, some of which landed in Najib's bank accounts.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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