MNA International Desk: Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak was hit with new charges Wednesday linked to a multi-billion-dollar financial scandal that contributed to his shock election defeat in May, reported news agency.
Appearing at a court in Kuala Lumpur, Najib was charged with three counts of money-laundering over claims he pocketed 42 million ringgit ($10.3 million), 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 first 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 probing allegations that billions of dollars were looted from state fund 1MDB, which was set up and overseen by 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 Najib’s long-ruling coalition and ushered in a reformist alliance headed by his 93-year-old former mentor Mahathir Mohamad.