Malaysian prime minister faces further corruption charges

20 Sep 18

The former Malaysian prime minister has been charged with 21 additional counts of money laundering and four counts of abuse of power.

The charges related to hundreds of millions of dollars received into his personal bank account.

This brings the total number of charges against Najib Razak to 32 as part of investigations into how billions went missing from state fund 1Malaysia Development Board, known as 1MDB, which he founded and chaired.

Earlier this year, prosecutors brought a total of seven charges against the former leader, including money laundering, criminal breach of trust and abuse of power, related to the nearly $10m that went into his personal bank account from the state fund.

He has denied all wrongdoing.

Prosecutors said today that Najib used his position as prime minister, finance minister and chairman of the fund to obtain funds totalling 2.3bn ringgit ($558m) between 2011 and 2014.

Najib has been centre of the scandal since he lost the general election in May to Mahathir Mohamad, who reopened the investigation into the state fund.

The 1MDB scandal erupted in 2015 after media reported that hundreds of millions of dollars from the fund were diverted into his personal accounts.

In June Malaysian police seized goods and cash worth up to $273m from properties linked to Najib as part of the investigation.

The penalty for the offence is up to 15 years in jail and a fine of no less than five times the value of the proceeds of any illegal transfers, or five million ringgit ($1.2m), whichever is higher.

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