Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak pleads not guilty to graft

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak pleaded not guilty at the country’s High Court today to misappropriating more than $10m from state funds.

He was arrested yesterday as part of a corruption probe into 1MBD, the state property investment fund he started after coming to power in 2009.

He faces three charges of criminal breach of trust relating to his role as prime minister, finance minister and advisor emeritus of SRC International, a division of 1MDB.

He is alleged to have misappropriated funds through various banks in Malaysia on three occasions between 2014 and 2015, amounting to approximately $10.3m (42 million ringgits), reports The Star.

SRC International was a subsidiary of 1MDB, and was placed under the jurisdiction of the Finance Ministry in 2012.

After the plea, a press conference by lead prosecutor Attorney General Tommy Thomas had to be cancelled when an angry crowd chanted slogans in support of Najib.

Najib was released on bail and a 19-day trial was scheduled to begin in February 2019.

The court granted Najib’s defence team’s request for an interim gag order against media preventing them discussing merits of the case.

Image: Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (Wikimedia Commons)

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