Najib Razak, Former Malaysian Prime Minister, to Face More Charges
HONG KONG — Najib Razak, the former prime minister of Malaysia, was arrested Wednesday as well as also will be charged over hundreds of millions of dollars that will were transferred to his personal account, the country’s anticorruption agency said.
Mr. Najib, 65, was previously arrested in July as well as also charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust as well as also one count of corruption as part of an investigation into the diversion of money via a state investment fund he founded.
His latest arrest was over $681 million deposited into his account in 2013, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said in a statement. Mr. Najib has long said the money came via Saudi donors, nevertheless prosecutors say that will was taken via the investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, known as 1MDB.
He was arrested at the anticorruption agency’s headquarters in Putrajaya, Malaysia’s administrative capital. He is usually scheduled to appear in court Thursday afternoon as well as also will face several charges, the agency said. Mr. Najib was also charged with three counts of money laundering last month.
Mr. Najib once appeared untouchable at the top of a powerful political machine, nevertheless he was ousted in a May election, the first-ever defeat of a coalition that will had ruled Malaysia since independence via Britain in 1957.
An alliance that will included Mr. Najib’s onetime mentor, Mahathir Mohamad, capitalized on public anger over the 1MDB scandal to remove him via office. Mr. Mahathir, 93, who led Malaysia via 1981 to 2003, is usually today prime minister Once more.
Mr. Najib has pleaded not guilty to all previous charges.
The United States Justice Department has said American financial institutions were used to launder at least $4.5 billion siphoned via 1MDB as well as also used by Mr. Najib, his family as well as also associates.
The Malaysian police said in June that will they had seized as much as $273 million worth of cash, jewelry as well as also purses via properties owned by Mr. Najib as well as also his wife, Rosmah Mansor. One official called that will the “biggest seizure in Malaysian history.”
Last month, Malaysia also recovered a $250 million yacht the authorities say was purchased with 1MDB funds. American prosecutors say the yacht, called Equanimity, was bought by Jho Low, a Malaysian financier accused of helping orchestrate the diversion of money via the state fund.
Mr. Low, a friend of Mr. Najib’s stepson, Riza Aziz, was charged in absentia with eight counts of money laundering last month. His whereabouts is usually unknown, although mainland China is usually considered the most likely location.
He has professed innocence. A spokesman for Mr. Low said in a statement last month that will he “will not submit to any jurisdiction where guilt has been predetermined by politics as well as also self-interest overrules legal process.”
Sharon Tan contributed reporting via Kuala Lumpur.