Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Charges against Najib in line with rule of law, says Hishammuddin

Charges against Najib in line with rule of law, says Hishammuddin

On July 4, Najib pleaded not guilty to the four previous charges.

Former Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said his cousin and ex-Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's second round of criminal charges in line with the rule of law but hopes that he gets a fair trial in court.

The former leader was arrested and charged last month with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power following a probe into SRC International.

As for the sole charge of abusing his position for self-gratification of RM42 million in the course of a government decision, a minor change amended mention of Najib's "participation or involvement in" to just "involvement in" a decision on behalf of the government to give government guarantee for RM4 billion of loans from civil servants' pension fund Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) to SRC International. Each of those charges has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Najib spoke softly as he entered his plea in the High Court on Wednesday.

The charges are related to the RM42mil allegedly deposited into his personal bank accounts from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) placed under the jurisdiction of the Finance Ministry in 2012.

On Wednesday, Najib was accused of receiving RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million into his bank accounts in three separate transactions. It added that the additional charges have been approved by the Attorney-General.

Mr Najib, members of his family and several allies are accused of embezzling huge sums allegedly used to buy everything from artwork to high-end real estate around the globe.

Lawsuits filed in U.S. courts by the Department of Justice allege that an estimated $4.5bn was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates.

Following Najib´s election loss, police seized a vast trove of items - including expensive handbags and jewellery - from properties linked to him with an estimated value of up to $273 million. On Tuesday, a luxury yacht allegedly paid for with about $250 million stolen from 1MDB arrived outside Kuala Lumpur after being handed over by Indonesian authorities, who impounded it following a DoJ request.

The new government reopened investigations into 1MDB that were stifled under Najib and barred him and his wife from leaving the country.

Like this: