High Court: New charges against Najib to be merged with previous bribery, CBT charges

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's three new charges of money laundering will be merged with his other charges of bribery and breach of trust, linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

The former prime minister on Wednesday (Aug 8) was slapped with fresh charges of receiving RM27mil, RM5mil and RM10mil, which were obtained from illegal activities, into his bank account in three separate transactions.

The first and second offences were allegedly committed at AmIslamic Bank at Jalan Raja Chulan on Dec 26, 2014 while the third offence was allegedly committed at the same place on Feb 10, 2015.

The charges are related to the RM42mil allegedly deposited into Najib's personal bank accounts from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of 1MDB placed under the jurisdiction of the Finance Ministry in 2012.

The offences under Section 4 (1)(b) of Anti-Money Laundering Act, Anti-Terrorism Financing Act and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (Amla) 2001 carries a punishment of up to 15 years' prison and a fine of up to five times the monetary amount involved.

The case was earlier heard before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi, who allowed the prosecution's application to transfer the case to the High Court.

The prosecution team, led by Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, applied to have it heard together with the previous charges before another High Court.

The defence, led by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, agreed that the move was sensible, saying these charges are subsidiary to the earlier predicated offences.

High Court judge Justice Azman Abdullah allowed the case to be moved to a different High Court where they would be heard together, and matters like bail and case management would also be set.

Najib had previously claimed trial to three other charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) for misappropriating funds through various banks here on three occasions between Dec 24, 2014 and March 2, 2015; amounting to RM27mil, RM5mil and RM10mil.

The charges read that breach was done in his capacity as Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Advisor Emeritus of SRC International, in which he was entrusted with RM4bil.

He faces a fourth charge of receiving an RM42mil bribe as inducement to come to a decision on behalf of the Malaysian Government to provide a sovereign guarantee for a loan of RM4bil from the KWAP to SRC International.
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