Malaysia’s ex-PM, former treasury official charged with misuse of $1.6 billion

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Malaysia charged ex-premier Najib Razak and one of his former top treasury officials with six counts of criminal breach of trust, accusing them of misusing 6.6 billion ringgit ($1.6 billion) of public funds, including 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Bloomberg News reported.

The former prime minister and Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, the finance ministry’s top bureaucrat until Najib’s government lost power in May, were jointly charged in a Kuala Lumpur court on October 25. Each charge carries a jail term of as many as 20 years, a fine and whipping. However, neither Najib nor Irwan would be subject to caning because of their age.

Both pleaded not guilty on all charges. Najib said he had “only acted in the country’s best interests” and that the accusations against him were “too general and unreasonable.”

Prosecutors alleged the two men committed the breach of trust offense with $53 million of government money that was meant for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, $312 million that was supposed to be used in a subsidy and cash aid programme, as well as monies linked to rail and pipeline projects – some of which involved Chinese companies. They also committed the offense with $1.2 billion of other government funds, prosecutors said.

Local media reported that money was used to settle 1MDB’s financial obligations to Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company.

Najib is already facing 32 charges of money laundering, corruption and breach of trust involving more than $551 million in transactions linked to 1MDB. His trial on those offenses is due to start next year.

Meanwhile, Naji’s wife Rosmah Mansor and her two sons are expected to be called in to have their statements recorded by the police on October 26.

It is understood that Rosmah is supposed to meet the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Prevention division’s investigators in their probe into 1MDB. They will question her further on various issues relating to 1MDB, including the items seized from premises linked to her husband.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia charged ex-premier Najib Razak and one of his former top treasury officials with six counts of criminal breach of trust, accusing them of misusing 6.6 billion ringgit ($1.6 billion) of public funds, including 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Bloomberg News reported.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia charged ex-premier Najib Razak and one of his former top treasury officials with six counts of criminal breach of trust, accusing them of misusing 6.6 billion ringgit ($1.6 billion) of public funds, including 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Bloomberg News reported.

The former prime minister and Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, the finance ministry’s top bureaucrat until Najib’s government lost power in May, were jointly charged in a Kuala Lumpur court on October 25. Each charge carries a jail term of as many as 20 years, a fine and whipping. However, neither Najib nor Irwan would be subject to caning because of their age.

Both pleaded not guilty on all charges. Najib said he had “only acted in the country’s best interests” and that the accusations against him were “too general and unreasonable.”

Prosecutors alleged the two men committed the breach of trust offense with $53 million of government money that was meant for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, $312 million that was supposed to be used in a subsidy and cash aid programme, as well as monies linked to rail and pipeline projects – some of which involved Chinese companies. They also committed the offense with $1.2 billion of other government funds, prosecutors said.

Local media reported that money was used to settle 1MDB’s financial obligations to Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company.

Najib is already facing 32 charges of money laundering, corruption and breach of trust involving more than $551 million in transactions linked to 1MDB. His trial on those offenses is due to start next year.

Meanwhile, Naji’s wife Rosmah Mansor and her two sons are expected to be called in to have their statements recorded by the police on October 26.

It is understood that Rosmah is supposed to meet the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Prevention division’s investigators in their probe into 1MDB. They will question her further on various issues relating to 1MDB, including the items seized from premises linked to her husband.

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