Ex-Malay PM to enter defence over corruption charges

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak

Kuala Lumpur, Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was ordered to enter defence on Monday for the corruption charges related to the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ordered Najib to present his case as prosecution has established cases on all seven charges against Najib — three charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), one count of abusing his position and three counts of money laundering related to SRC International funds, a former subsidiary of 1MDB, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The accused had full control over the company (SRC) as the Finance Minister and MOF Inc as the sole shareholder of SRC,” he said.

Judge Mohd Nazlan added that the court found the elements of misusing position, dishonesty and money laundering by the accused had been proven by the prosecution.

Najib is expected to take the witness stand when the proceedings resume on December 3, his lawyers said.

Some 42 million ringgit ($10.5 million) from SRC International was allegedly transferred to Najib’s personal accounts while he was the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and advisor of 1MDB.

The trial began this April with the prosecution calling 57 witnesses to the stand over 58 days of hearings. Among those called include former bankers, officials with the country’s retirement fund as well as members of the country’s anti-corruption body.

Najib has been slapped with dozens of other charges for corruption, money laundering, power abuse and criminal breach of trust involving millions of ringgit since his ruling coalition lost power in the national elections in May 2018.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor and step-son Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz are also facing corruption and money laundering charges, with all of them pleading not guilty.