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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Najib faces 21 money laundering charges plus 4 for abuse of power

PETALING JAYA - Sources say former prime minister Najib Razak is expected to face at least four more charges of abuse of power in addition to the 21 counts of money laundering in relation to the RM2.6 billion allegedly received from state investment fund 1MDB.

They said Najib would be charged under Section 23 (1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.

If found guilty, he could be jailed for up to 20 years and fined not less than five times the value of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

The offences were said to have been committed between 2011 and 2014.

Najib, who lost power after the historic May 9 general election, will face 21 charges under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amla).

A source said if the offences were committed before September 2014, Najib would be liable to a fine of up to RM5 million, a maximum jail term of five years, or both.

If the offences were committed after September 2014, he faces a maximum of 15 years in jail and a fine of not less than five times the sum of the proceeds of the unlawful activity or RM5 million, whichever is higher.

Today’s charges follow four months of intensive investigations by the MACC and police.

Najib will be produced before a Sessions Court judge this afternoon, with proceedings expected to continue into the evening due to the number of charges to be read to him.

Lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, a member of Najib’s legal team, said there was currently little information on what to expect later today.

“We are also in the dark over the bail amount the prosecutors will ask our client to post in order to be free pending the outcome of the trial,” he told FMT.

Najib was arrested by MACC officers in Putrajaya yesterday after being summoned for questioning. Earlier today, he was taken to the Bukit Aman police headquarters to record his statement.

In July, Najib was slapped with four charges – three for criminal breach of trust and one for abusing his power – related to some RM42 million transferred into his bank account from former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International.

The offences were allegedly committed between Dec 24 and 29, 2014.

Last month, he was charged with three counts of money laundering related to the same transaction, under Amla.

The High Court fixed Feb 12 to Feb 28 and March 4 to March 29 next year for trial.

On Tuesday, it was reported that Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor could also face up to 20 criminal charges soon, most of them related to money laundering.

Last Thursday, senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was also slapped with four charges of money laundering involving RM9.5 million he had received from Najib.

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