AG hints of more charges relating to 1MDB

Riza Aziz

Malaysian anti-corruption agents arrested former prime minister Najib Razak on Tuesday following a probe into how money went missing from a state fund he founded nearly a decade ago, and authorities said he would be charged in court on Wednesday.

The investigation centres on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund which Najib founded and which allegedly has had millions of dollars embezzled from it.

Asked if he expected more charges against Najib, the lawyer, who has vast experience in criminal and civil cases, said, "I leave it to your imagination on why the authorities did not charge him for the bigger issue, 1MDB".

It didn't give details of the charges against Najib. Local media reports said Najib was seen leaving his house in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, in an unmarked police vehicle. "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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"I am not flawless but believe me, that the accusations against me and my family are not all true", he said.

Malaysia's new Attorney-General, Tommy Thomas, will head the prosecution in the case. Former Prime Minister Najib Razak is charged over his alleged role in the multibillion-dollar looting of a state investment fund, officials said.

Soon after his win, Malaysia's new prime minister reopened the 1MDB investigations and vowed that Mr Najib "would face the consequences" if he was found to have broken any laws.

Police say they recovered $273m in luxury goods and cash from a raid in June, calling the seizure of valuables the biggest in Malaysian history.

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Some of Najib's children were present in the court room, including his stepson Riza Aziz who on Tuesday was questioned by anti- graft officers in connection with their 1MDB probe.

Najib has denied the allegations.

According to authorities, the accounts linked to 81 individuals and 55 companies "are believed to have been linked to misappropriation and misuse of 1MDB funds". Red Granite agreed in March to pay the USA government $60 million to settle claims it benefited from the 1MDB scandal.

In July 2015, the Wall Street Journal published documents showing Najib received at least $681m in payments to his personal bank accounts.

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A special government task force investigating the 1MDB corruption scandal said it froze 408 bank accounts containing a total 1.1 billion ringgit ($272 million) last week.

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