Former PM Najib sees 1MDB graft trial resume this morning

Former Prime Minister Najib Razak via AFP
Former Prime Minister Najib Razak via AFP

Toppled Malaysian leader Najib Razak returned to court for the second day of his high-profile corruption trial Monday, with the former premier accused of plundering large sums from a unit of sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

The 65-year-old finally went on trial this month over his alleged role in looting the investment vehicle, the first of several court cases he is expected to face over the controversy.

The ex-prime minister and his cronies are accused of stealing billions of dollars from 1MDB and spending it on everything from high-end real estate to artworks and a luxury yacht.

The allegations played a large part in prompting voters to oust his corruption-plagued coalition, which had been in power for six decades, at historic elections last year. Since then, Najib has been arrested and hit with dozens of charges over the scandal.

The ex-leader’s highly-anticipated trial began on April 3, with Najib denying seven charges related to the theft of 42 million ringgit ($10.3 million) from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit.

It is just a fraction of the money Najib is alleged to have stolen.

He arrived at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur Monday for the second day of proceedings, wearing a dark suit and tie, and passed through a scrum of journalists before entering the courtroom and taking his seat in the dock.

Proceedings began with the defense team cross-examining Companies Commission of Malaysia official Muhamad Akmaluddin Abdullah, who had testified when the trial opened, on technical matters related to corporate records.

Opening the prosecution’s case earlier this month, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas told the court that Najib was “not above the law” despite having been premier for almost a decade.

Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing over the looting of 1MDB.

The US Department of Justice, which is investigating the 1MDB controversy as money was allegedly laundered through the American financial system, believes $4.5 billion in total was looted from the fund.

Our primary mission at Coconuts is to inform and entertain our audience. To do that, we need the support of our readers. If you read Coconuts often, perhaps you might consider joining our COCO+ Membership program? You’ll be supporting local news and joining a community of like-minded individuals across Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and beyond. And in addition to unlimited Coconuts content, you’ll get an ad-free experience, exclusive giveaways and discounts, free access to events, and a stylish tote bag. Become a COCO+ Member for less than US$1 per week. Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on
MOST POPULAR