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Malaysia Corruption Scandal: Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak arrested

Malaysia Corruption Scandal: Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak arrested

The settlement that Riza's Red Granite Pictures reached addressed one among two dozen forfeiture lawsuits filed by the US against $1.7 billion of assets that were allegedly acquired through money diverted from 1MDB.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) sources confirmed the arrest.

TRT World spoke with Zan Azlee in Kuala Lumpur for more details.

- Malaysia's anti-graft agency says the money deposited into Najib's account was a donation, not from 1MDB. "Let investigations be carried out", he said.

Each of the three charges has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The charge of using his office or position for gratification also carries a fine of not less than five times the value of gratification. Prosecutors demanded 4 million ringgit ($1,460,992 million) bail, but the judge set it at 1 million ringgit in cash ($365,250) and ordered Najib to surrender his two diplomatic passports. The judge set a tentative date for the trial to begin of February 18, 2019.

Chants of "Melayu" and "bebas Najib" were hurled at the AG by supporters of the former prime minister, who had gathered in solidarity with Najib at the court since early morning.

The allegations of massive corruption were a major factor behind the shock election loss by Najib's long-ruling coalition to a reformist alliance headed by his former mentor, Mahathir Mohamad.

After coming to power in May Dr Mahathir has reopened investigations into 1MDB.

Malaysia's former prime minister created a pre-recorded video that was released after he was arrested on Tuesday for corruption and breach of trust. "I claim trial", he said in a barely audible voice as he stood in the dock at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

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Crowds of media and onlookers jostled to catch a glance of the former premier as he was led to a sessions court to face the charges.

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

Najib was ousted from power in May's tumultuous polls.

Najib and his cronies were accused of plundering billions of dollars from the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund to buy everything from United States real estate to artworks.

SRC International was a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), and was placed under the jurisdiction of the Finance Ministry in 2012, Bernama reported.

Authorities have also frozen 408 bank accounts allegedly involved in the "misappropriation and misuse" of $271 million linked to 1MDB.

1MDB has been a focus of investigations in at least six countries, including the United States, but Najib has denied any wrong-doing.

In recent weeks, Malaysia's new prime minister Mahathir Mohamad had said there was "an nearly ideal case" against Najib and that charges would soon be filed.