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Former Malaysian PM Najib arrested in graft probe

05 July 2018

"I claim trial", he said in a barely audible voice as he stood in the dock at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

Thomas was speaking after he led the prosecution team in the case against former prime minister Najib Razak, who was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power in connection with a transaction involving SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.

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

Malaysian anti-corruption agents arrested Najib on Tuesday following a probe into how money went missing from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state fund he founded nearly a decade ago.

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Crowds of media and onlookers jostled to catch a glance of the former premier, while some members of Najib's UMNO party chanted and held up placards in support of their former leader.

Najib's wife, Rosmah, has also been quizzed by anti-graft investigators in relation to 1MDB and Najib's stepson, Riza Aziz, was giving a statement to the MACC when news broke of Najib's arrest.

The alleged corruption happened between August 2011 and February 2012, the charge says, when Najib, "at the Prime Minister's Office.as a public officer, namely the Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Malaysia, used your position to obtain for yourself the sum of forty-two million ringgit".

Since his loss at the polls to mentor-turned-foe Mahathir, Najib has been barred from leaving the country and had millions of dollars of items seized from properties linked to his family. Authorities said he would be charged in court on Wednesday.

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Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) sources confirmed the arrest. "Let investigations be conducted first, I have not had the chance to defend myself", Najib's voiceover said.

It vowed that Najib "will contest these charges and clear his name in court".

In March, Red Granite Pictures, which also produced big-budget Hollywood films such as "Dumb and Dumber" and "Big Daddy" agreed to pay US$60 million to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to settle a lawsuit alleging its use of illicit funds to make the movies.

According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, $10.6 million originating from SRC International Sdn Bhd, an energy company that was originally a subsidiary of 1MDB, was transferred to Najib's personal bank accounts, a fraction of hundreds of millions of dollars from 1MDB that was allegedly funnelled to him.

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Former Malaysian PM Najib arrested in graft probe