Malaysia's Najib Razak Pleads Not Guilty To Money Laundering Charges

  • Malaysia's Najib Razak Pleads Not Guilty To Money Laundering Charges

Malaysia's Najib Razak Pleads Not Guilty To Money Laundering Charges

Najib in July pleaded not guilty to abuse of power and three counts of criminal breach of trust, just two months after the scandal led to his stunning election defeat.

The new charges allege 42 million ringgit stemming from illegal activities was transferred to a bank account between December 2014 and February 2015.

Asked if he understood the charges, Najib responded: "I understand".

Najib is facing a long time behind bars if found guilty - the money-laundering charges carry maximum jail terms of 15 years each, while the other four charges carry sentences of 20 years each.

The new government reopened investigations into 1MDB that were stifled under Najib and barred him and his wife from leaving the country.

Tan Sri Irwan was removed from his post and that of 1MDB chairman after Najib was ousted.

High Court Judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said a decision on when the trial begins, and on the gag order, would be made on Friday.

Lokman rallied a group of about 50 supporters outside of MACC headquarters last month to protest as Najib was brought in to be arrested.

Najib is the first Malaysian prime minister to have been charged in court.

Former Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said his cousin and ex-Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's second round of criminal charges in line with the rule of law but hopes that he gets a fair trial in court.

His is accused of having received 42m ringgit ($10m; £8m) from state fund 1MDB in his personal bank account.

Najib chaired the 1mdb the whole time while the sovereign fund became bankrupt and had to sell its assets - bought at higher prices than market value - to recover its debts, the opposition said during the elections.

The US Justice Department, which is seeking to recover items allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB cash in America, estimates that Dollars 4.5 billion in total was looted from 1MDB.

Earlier this week, Indonesia handed over to Malaysia a $250 million superyacht that had been impounded following claims by the U.S. Department of Justice that it was purchased by fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho with funds siphoned off from 1MDB.