KUALA LUMPUR: After a string of criminal charges last month, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak now faces another three counts of money laundering amounting to RM42mil that was linked to SRC International Sdn Bhd, a unit of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The former prime minister was accused of receiving RM27mil, RM5mil and RM10mil, which were allegedly obtained from illegal activities, into his bank account through Real Time Electronic Transfer of Funds and Securities (Rentas) in three separate transactions.
The first and second offences were allegedly committed at AmIslamic Bank Berhad, Bangunan AmBank Group, No. 53, Jalan Raja Chulan here, on Dec 26, 2014, while the third offence was allegedly committed at the same place on Feb 10, 2015.
The offences were under Section 4 (1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, Anti-Terrorism Financing Act and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (Amla) [Act 613].
If convicted, Najib faces punishment of up to 15 years’ jail and can be fined up to five times the monetary amount involved, or RM5mil, whichever is higher.
Najib first appeared before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi to face the charges here yesterday although no plea was recorded.
The prosecution then asked for the cases to be transferred to the High Court, which was allowed by Azura.
The cases were then brought before High Court judge Justice Azman Abdullah, who allowed for the cases to be transferred to High Court 3.
The charges were repeated at the second High Court before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.
Najib, who wore a light grey pinstriped suit, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecution also tendered four new amended charges from the previous cases.
In the amended charges, the word “civil servant (penjawat awam)” was dropped from the three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) under Section 409 of the Penal Code while the words “took part (mengambil bahagian)” were removed from the charge on power abuse under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.
Najib pleaded not guilty when the new charges were read out.
DPP Manoj Kurup applied for the Amla cases to be tried together with Najib’s previous charges on CBT and power abuse on grounds that the cases involved the same transactions.
He also asked for bail from the previous cases to be extended.
The defence, led by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, agreed for bail to be extended as the Amla charges were subsidiary to the earlier offences.
Justice Mohd Nazlan allowed for bail extension. He also fixed tomorrow to hear submissions from both parties in the defence’s formal application for a media gag order and to fix new trial dates.
On July 4, Najib claimed trial to a charge of using his positions as the prime minister and finance minister to receive a RM42mil gratification when he was involved in the government’s decision in providing a guarantee for a RM4bil loan from the Retirement Fund Inc to SRC International.
He also claimed trial to three counts of CBT under Section 409 of the Penal Code.
According to the charge sheets, as the then-prime minister, finance minister and adviser emeritus of SRC International, he was entrusted with SRC’s monies amounting to RM4bil.
He allegedly misappropriated RM27mil and RM5mil in two transactions between Dec 24 and 29, 2014.
In the third CBT charge, Najib was accused of misappropriating RM10mil between Feb 10 and March 2, 2015, from the same RM4bil entrusted to him.
All of the CBT offences were allegedly committed at AmIslamic Bank Bhd, Bangunan Ambank Group, No. 55, Jalan Raja Chulan here.