Malaysia’s toppled leader to face new questioning, charges: report
By Agence France-Presse
Malaysia’s disgraced ex-leader Najib Razak was set to face further questioning Tuesday by the country’s anti-corruption agency and will be hit with more criminal charges, official media reported.
Najib, who unexpectedly lost power at elections in May, was arrested and charged last month with three counts of criminal breach of trust and a separate charge that he abused his position to pocket 42 million ringgit ($10.3 million).
Malaysia’s new government is probing the disappearance of billions of dollars from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, which was set up and overseen by Najib.
The former leader, his family and cronies are accused of embezzling huge sums that were used to buy everything from artwork to high-end real estate in a sophisticated fraud that spanned the globe.
The graft allegations were a major factor in the defeat of Najib’s long-ruling coalition by a reformist alliance headed by political heavyweight Mahathir Mohamad, 93.
Najib was due to be questioned at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission later in the afternoon, official news agency Bernama reported.
He will be slapped with three additional charges related to money-laundering when he appears in court Wednesday, Bernama reported. They are linked to SRC International, an energy company that was originally a subsidiary of 1MDB, it said.
According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, $10.6 million originating from SRC was transferred to Najib’s personal bank accounts. The first charges against Najib also related to SRC.
Najib has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.
Shortly after his downfall, a treasure trove of valuables was seized in raids on properties linked to Najib and his family — including cash, jewellery and luxury handbags — worth up to $273 million.