Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak Arrested For Corruption

Wednesday, 04 Jul, 2018

In this May 24 photo, former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak speaks as he leaves the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Office in Kuala Lumpur.

Najib's lawyer Mr Muhammad Shafee had asked for the bond to be reduced, taking into account the service his client has rendered to the public.

Embattled former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has pleaded not guilty over four charges read against him in relation to embezzlement of funds belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

The newly appointed attorney general Tommy Thomas will lead the prosecution team, Bernama said.

A spokesman for the politician did not immediately comment but Najib has consistently denied wrongdoing.

Najib Razak has been charged with criminal breach of trust.

He is due to appear in court on Wednesday morning and sources told Reuters he faces several charges.

The Wall Street Journal, which brought the scandal to global 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 did not enter a plea at the lower sessions court, however, because the case is being transferred to the High Court, an AFP reporter said.

A press statement issued by Najib's camp late Tuesday said the impending charges and other investigations "are politically motivated and the result of political vengeance" under Mahathir.

The former premier was arrested at his home on Tuesday afternoon in a stunning fall from grace, less than two months after losing an election to Mahathir Mohamad and as part of the government's probe into 1MDB.

Police say they recovered $273m in luxury goods and cash from a raid in June, calling the seizure of valuables the biggest in Malaysian history. "All transactions were between local companies and banks", said a source.

Najib and his allies are accused of plundering billions of dollars from the 1MDB to buy everything from United States real estate to artworks.

He left a pre-recorded message to protest his innocence that was posted to Twitter.

Riza is the co-founder of Red Granite Pictures, a company that US prosecutors say financed three Hollywood films, including the 2013 Martin Scorsese movie "The Wolf of Wall Street", with funds misappropriated by 1MDB.

The U.S. Justice Department says a total of $4.5 billion was looted from 1MDB, some of allegedly landed in Najib's personal bank accounts.