Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak waves as he leaves Duta court complex in Kuala Lumpur on August 8, 2018.
Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak was hit with new charges on August 8 linked to a multi-billion-dollar financial scandal that contributed to his shock election defeat in May. / AFP PHOTO / Mohd RASFAN
Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak waves as he leaves court after pleading not guilty in a multi-billion-dollar financial case. AFP

Malaysian former PM Najib faces new money laundering charges



Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak was hit with new charges on Wednesday linked to a multi billion dollar financial scandal that contributed to his shock election defeat in May.

Appearing at a court in Kuala Lumpur, Mr Najib was charged with three counts of money laundering over claims he pocketed 42 million ringgit (Dh37.9m), and pleaded not guilty. He faces up to 15 years in jail for each charge.

These are in addition to the charges he faced last month after he was arrested — three for criminal breach of trust and a separate count that he abused his position to take the money. He faces up to 20 years in jail for each of those charges, which he has also denied.

Malaysia's new government is investigating allegations that billions of dollars were looted from state fund 1MDB, which was set up and overseen by Mr Najib, in an audacious fraud that spanned the globe.

Allegations of massive corruption were a major factor behind the electoral earthquake in May that toppled Mr Najib's long-ruling coalition and ushered in a reformist alliance headed by his 93-year-old former mentor Mahathir Mohamad.

In a packed courtroom, the three new charges were read out to Mr Najib. Asked if he understood them, Mr Najib said: "I understand."

His case was transferred to another court, where he entered not guilty pleas, meaning he will stand trial.

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

All the charges relate to SRC International, an energy company that was originally a subsidiary of 1MDB. According to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, about $10m originating from SRC was transferred to Mr Najib's personal bank accounts.

Real estate, artworks

This is just a fraction of the $681m that was mysteriously transferred to Mr Najib's personal bank accounts several years ago, sparking uproar in Malaysia. The attorney general at the time cleared Mr Najib of wrongdoing, and said that the money had been a donation from the Saudi royal family.

Mr Najib, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and his allies are accused of plundering billions of dollars from 1MDB to buy everything from US real estate to artworks.

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

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.

Investigations into 1MDB have been moving swiftly. On Tuesday, a luxury yacht allegedly paid for with about $250m stolen from 1MDB arrived outside Kuala Lumpur after being handed over by Indonesian authorities, who impounded it following a request for the US Department of Justice.

The 90-metre Equanimity, with a pool and helicopter landing pad, was allegedly bought by playboy financier Jho Low, a friend of Mr Najib's family, who was said to exert great influence over 1MDB.

Mr Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor led a life of luxury, allegedly funded by stolen public money, that came to symbolise the rot in an elite that had ruled the country uninterrupted since Malaysia's independence from Britain in 1957.

RACE CARD AND SELECTIONS

5pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 1,200m

5,30pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 1,200m

6pm: The President’s Cup Listed (TB) Dh380,000 1,400m

6.30pm: The President’s Cup Group One (PA) Dh2,500,000 2,200m

7pm: Arabian Triple Crown Listed (PA) Dh230,000 1,600m

7.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 1,400m

 

The National selections

5pm: RB Hot Spot

5.30pm: Dahess D’Arabie

6pm: Taamol

6.30pm: Rmmas

7pm: RB Seqondtonone

7.30pm: AF Mouthirah

Results:

First Test: New Zealand 30 British & Irish Lions 15

Second Test: New Zealand 21 British & Irish Lions 24

Third Test: New Zealand 15 British & Irish Lions 15

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
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SHOW COURTS ORDER OF PLAY

Wimbledon order of play on Tuesday, July 11
All times UAE (+4 GMT)

Centre Court

Adrian Mannarino v Novak Djokovic (2)

Venus Williams (10) v Jelena Ostapenko (13)

Johanna Konta (6) v Simona Halep (2)

Court 1

Garbine Muguruza (14) v

Svetlana Kuznetsova (7)

Magdalena Rybarikova v Coco Vandeweghe (24)

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1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 4:42:34

2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe

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4. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco

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6. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ

7. Max Kanter (Ger) Movistar Team

8. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma

9. Tom Devriendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux

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Rating: 1 out of 4

Running time: 81 minutes

Director: David Blue Garcia

Starring: Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Fisher, Mark Burnham

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

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Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

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Directed by:Tom Beard

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  • High fever
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If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

The specs: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox

Price, base / as tested: Dh76,900 / Dh110,900

Engine: 2.0L, turbocharged in-line four-cylinder

Gearbox: Nine-speed automatic

Power: 252hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: Torque: 352Nm @ 2,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 8.5L / 100km

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Starring: Sarah Geronimo, James Reid, Xian Lim, Nova Villa

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