Malaysian authorities arrest former premier Najib Razak

Leroy Wright
July 4, 2018

"Mohd Najib will be charged on July 4, 2018 at 8.30am at the Kuala Lumpur court", the statement said.

Najib's laywer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah asked for the case to be expedited.

Newly-appointed Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, who led the prosecution team against Najib, has requested that the case be transferred to High Court.

Najib's denial of wrongdoing came on the same day that authorities froze more 408 bank accounts related to $271 million believed to have come from 1MDB.

Najib told Malaysiakini the money was donated for the 2013 election after he met with the late King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Najib was arrested as part of the new Malaysian government's probe into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

According to a statement issued by the 1MDB task force, Mr Najib was picked up from his mansion in Jalan Langgak Duta in Kuala Lumpur at 2.35pm yesterday afternoon in relation to the probe into SRC International.

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Allegations of massive corruption were a major factor behind the shock election loss in May of Najib's long-ruling coalition to a reformist alliance headed by his 92-year-old former mentor Mahathir Mohamad. "All transactions were between local companies and banks", said a source.

A special taskforce was formed in mid-2015 to investigate allegations against Najib, who was embroiled in the 1MDB scandal and faced public scrutiny over the deposit from SRC worldwide and a larger tranche of US$681 million which was believed to have been siphoned from 1MDB.

Police have also seized jewellery and valuables valued at more than 1.1 billion ringgit (US$272 million) from properties linked to Najib.

In a recorded video posted on social media hours after his arrest, Najib apologized to Malaysians but remained defiant.

US investigators say $4.5 billion is suspected to have been looted and laundered from the fund, some of which landed in Najib's bank accounts.

Najib, as Malaysia's prime minister, wielded significant power over the state's institutions and quashed an investigation into misappropriation of 1MDB funds.

Najib's stepson Riza Aziz was questioned on Tuesday at MACC headquarters, where the former prime minister was taken into custody, over claims funds misappropriated from 1MDB were used to finance several Hollywood movies produced by his film company, Red Granite Pictures.

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