NAJIB Razak should be given his day in court to defend himself in a trial that is based on rule of law, said the former prime minister's cousin and former cabinet member Hishammuddin Hussein.
Former prime minister Najib Razak will face fresh charges today over money laundering as he makes his second appearance in a Malaysian court since he was toppled from power in May.
All of the charges against him involve the transfer of $10.3 million (42 million ringgit) into his bank accounts from SRC International, a former unit of the 1MDB fund that international investigators say was looted of billions by Najib's associates.
Allegations of massive corruption were a major factor behind the electoral natural disaster in May that toppled Najib's long-ruling coalition and ushered in a reformist alliance headed by his 93-year-old former mentor Mahathir Mohamad.
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The charges were read out in a Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur and the case is now being transferred to the High Court, where Najib is expect to enter a plea for each of the charges later on Wednesday. "I just hope that the process is fair and that he has a fair trial and say in proceedings", Hishammuddin told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.
All three charges were under Section 4 (1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 punishable under Section 4 (1) of the same Act which carries a maximum jail term of 15 years and fine of not less than five times the sum of the unlawful activity's proceeds or RM5 million whichever is higher, if convicted. According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, about $10 million originating from SRC was transferred to Najib´s personal bank accounts.
All the charges relate to fund transfers from SRC International, an energy company that was originally a subsidiary of 1MDB.
Najib has so far denied any wrongdoing.
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The US Department of Justice, which is seeking to recover items allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB cash in America, estimates that $4.5 billion in total was looted from the fund.
Following Najib's election loss, police seized a vast trove of items - including expensive handbags and jewelry - from properties linked to him with an estimated value of up to $273 million.
He appeared at the MACC office in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday after he was summoned by the anti-graft agency.
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