Malaysia: Ex-PM Najib Razak given bail after pleading not guilty

Riza Aziz

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's lawyer proposed using the deed to his client's Jalan Langgak Duta mansion as collateral for the bail amount instead of paying with cash, but his request was quickly turned down by the prosecution.

According to the New Straits Times, the criminal breach of trust charges involved the embezzlement of RM27 million (US$6.75 million), RM5 million (US$1.25 million) and RM10 million (US$2.5 million) from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of the controversial 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund, while he was serving as Prime Minister and Finance Minister.

1MDB, set up by Mr Najib in 2009, was meant to turn the capital, Kuala Lumpur, into a financial hub and boost the economy through strategic investments.

Former prime minister Najib Razak has been charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one for accepting a RM42 million (S$14 million) bribe in connection with the 1MDB scandal that led to his political downfall.

The charges against him carry a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.

Meanwhile, when asked about the Bar Council's statement on Tuesday night claiming that the 1MDB's task force is not legally empowered to charge Najib, he agreed and said that only the AG has the powers to prosecute.

Some members of Najib's UMNO party chanted and held up placards in support of their former leader.

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Najib "is anxious to clear his name", he told the High Court.

US investigators say $4.5 billion was stolen and laundered from 1MDB by Najib's associates, including some $700 million that landed in Najib's bank account.

While many Malaysians are engrossed with the updates following Najib's arrest, a close family member has chose to request the people's sympathy over the man's arrest through a social media post.

MACC has been able to track the money trail from SRC more easily because transactions were made through Malaysian entities, whereas most other transfers of 1MDB funds went through foreign banks and companies.

Since his shock election loss to Mahathir Mohamad in May, Najib has been barred from leaving the country, quizzed by the anti-graft agency and had his personal and family houses searched as part of the 1MDB probe.

The couple's two children Ashman Najib and Nooryana Najwa Najib were in court on Wednesday.

He has told the public not to believe the reports saying: "I have not had a chance to defend myself".

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