Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him as he went on trial today over a multi-billion-dollar fraud. This comes almost a year after his shock election loss.
Najib denied seven corruption and money-laundering charges related to the alleged theft of 10.3 million US dollars from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit. It is just a fraction of the hundreds of millions of dollars that he allegedly stole.
While the former Prime Minister faces several criminal cases, today’s was the first of the several trials over his alleged involvement in the looting of sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, a state investment vehicle established to develop the economy of the Southeast Asian nation.
Najib is accused of plundering billions of dollars from the fund and spending it on everything from high-end real estate to artworks and a luxury yacht.
The judge set the next hearing for 15th April, and trial dates until 10th May. Najib was initially due to stand trial in February. However, appeals by his defence team over procedural matters saw his case put on hold until a judge last week ruled the trial should finally proceed.