Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malaysia’s Najib given new charge in graft case



Malaysia’s Najib given new charge in graft case

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak (centre) greets supporters after a court appearance in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. aFP

Malaysia’s Najib given new charge in graft case

Malaysia’s former leader Najib Razak and an ally were Thursday charged with allegedly looting $1.6 billion of public money, the latest accusations against figures from the scandal-plagued old regime.

Najib has now been hit with 38 charges since losing power, most of them related to allegations that he and his cronies plundered vast sums from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

The scandal played a major part in prompting voters to oust his coalition at elections in May after six decades in power and elect a reformist alliance headed by Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib was jointly charged in a Kuala Lumpur court with ex-senior finance ministry official, Mohamad Irwan Serigar Abdullah, with six counts of criminal breach of trust.

They denied all the charges.

The crimes involved 6.6 billion ringgit ($1.6 billion) of public money and allegedly took place between December, 2016 and December, 2017. Each charge is punishable by up to 20 years in jail.

Local media reported that some of the money was used to pay debts owed by 1MDB to Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund IPIC.

The Malaysian fund slid into a massive debt hole as huge sums of money were allegedly stolen and used to buy everything from a super-yacht, to high-end real estate and pricey artworks.

The US Department of Justice, which is seeking to seize assets allegedly bought with looted 1MDB money in America, alleges that a total of $4.5 billion was misappropriated from the fund.

Another key Najib ally, former spy chief Hasanah Abdul Hamid, is expected to be charged in court later Thursday.

The former prime minister’s luxury-loving wife, Rosmah Mansor, and the new leader of his party and long-time lieutenant, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, have also been arrested and charged.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment