Malaysia's Najib pleads not guilty to money laundering as charges pile up

Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak arrives for a court appearance in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak arrives for a court appearance in Kuala Lumpur

The charges under Section 4 (1) of the Anti-Money-Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2002 (AMLATFPUAA) were initially read out to Najib at the Sessions Court before judge Azura Alwi earlier this morning.

The 65-year-old former leader has also pleaded not guilty to three charges for criminal breach of trust and one charge for abuse of power that were levelled against him last month.

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was on Wednesday charged with three counts of money laundering in connection with a multi-billion-dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Last month, Najib was arrested and charged with abuse of power and criminal breach of trust related to an alleged transfer of RM42 million (S$14 million) into his personal bank account from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.

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.

Don't miss out on the latest news and information. His case was being transferred to another court for a plea to be taken.

The prosecution team, led by Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, applied to have it heard together with the previous charges before another High Court.

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Reopening the investigations into 1MDB after Najib lost power, Malaysian anti-graft officers have revealed how their earlier investigations were obstructed by Najib's government.

He pleaded not guilty to those charges.

The charges are related to 42m ringgit (US$10m).

He's accused of stealing more than $13 million from a state investment fund, just part of the $4.5 billion USA investigators claim was siphoned from the fund known as 1MDB.

Najib had founded 1MDB and headed its advisory board.

After Mr Najib's election defeat, police seized a vast trove of items - including expensive handbags and jewellery - from properties linked to him with an estimated value of up to $273m.

On Tuesday, a luxury yacht that was allegedly procured using stolen money from 1MDB was returned to the Malaysian government.

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