Former Malaysian PM Najib slapped with 25 more corruption charges

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been hit with 25 more corruption-related charges over allega...

Posted: Sep 20, 2018 11:27 AM
Updated: Sep 20, 2018 11:27 AM

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been hit with 25 more corruption-related charges over allegations that he siphoned off $681 million from the public.

Najib pleaded not guilty to each offense. They add to the list of charges he faces in relation to a multibillion-dollar scandal involving the state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) set up under his leadership.

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The former leader has steadfastly maintained his innocence.

Of the new charges, nine relate to receiving illicit funds; five to the use of illicit funds; and seven charges are on transferring illicit funds to other entities, according to a statement from Deputy Inspector General of Royal Malaysian Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim. Four additional charges were brought under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act and relate to abuse of power.

Bail was set at 3.5 million ringgit ($845,705).

The former Prime Minister's legal problems have mounted after his scandal-plagued tenure ended in May, when he was soundly defeated by 93-year-old veteran politician Mahathir Mohamad, a former mentor.

Mahathir came out of retirement and ran on an anti-corruption platform that resonated with voters angry about the allegations surrounding 1MDB. His victory marked he first time the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition had lost power since Malaysia's independence.

The US Justice Department alleges that $4.5 billion from 1MDB was misappropriated by high-level officials at the fund.

Authorities began investigating Najib shortly after the election. Najib was arrested in July, days after after police said they had seized $225 million in luxury handbags, jewelry, cash and goods from six properties linked to the former leader.

Last month, Malaysian authorities recovered a $250 million yacht purchased by Malaysian financier Jho Low in 2014, a close family friend of Najib. Public money from 1MDB was allegedly used to buy the boat.

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