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

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • Singapore Fintech start-up enters Sihanoukville

    Singapore-based fintech start-up Fincy on Wednesday announced the expansion of its cashless payment system to Sihanoukville to tap into the southwestern coastal city’s ever-widening business and investment landscape. The move is in line with the National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC’s) recommendations to