Money-laundering charges over RM42m read out to Najib

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex, August 8, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex, August 8, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — Three counts of money-laundering charges were read out to Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the Sessions Court here this morning, the latest criminal charges that the former prime minister has to face.

Najib, 65, is facing these additional charges, on top of his two existing criminal cases of alleged criminal breach of trust and power abuse over RM42 million of funds belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.

The three money-laundering counts involve amounts totalling RM42 million; the first count involved RM27 million, the second count involved RM5 million and the third count over a sum of RM10 million.

All three counts allege that Najib committed the offence of money-laundering when he received proceeds from unlawful activities in his AmIslamic Bank account through Real-Time Electronic Transfer of Funds and Securities (Rentas), with the first two counts said to have occurred on December 26, 2014 and the third count said to have happened on February 2, 2015.

The charges were read out before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi, but Najib did not have his plea recorded here.

“I allow the prosecution’s application for this case to be transferred to the High Court, to be mentioned today,” the judge said.

Najib indicated that he understood the charges that were read out to him.

He pleaded not guilty in the criminal division of the High Court to all three counts.

The three counts are under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money-Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2002 (AMLATFPUAA).

he Section 4(1) offence is punishable by a maximum 15-year jail term and a fine of RM5 million or a minimum five times of the value of the unlawful proceeds at the time the offence was committed, with the fine amount depending on whichever is higher. 

Najib was represented by an eight-member team of lawyers led by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah while Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria led an 11-man prosecution team from the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Najib’s family members who were spotted inside the courtroom were his sons Norashman Najib, Mohd Nizar Najib and the latter’s wife Nor Sharmila Shaheen.

Daughter Nooryana Najwa and her Kazakh husband Daniyar Kessikbayev were also seen.

Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was not sighted inside the courtroom, but her lawyers held a watching brief for her.

Najib did not have to post additional bail today for the new money-laundering case, as the court allowed an extension of the previous RM1 million bail posted for the two other cases as agreed by both the prosecution and defence.

The three cases will be tried together as the same set of documents and witnesses are involved, but the trial dates has yet to be fixed.

The trial dates are expected to be fixed after the hearing this Friday of Najib's formal application for a gag order on the media on the merits of the criminal cases.

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