Najib Razak arrested by Malaysia's anti-graft agency, to appear in court on Thursday

Najib Razak arrested by Malaysia's anti-graft agency, to appear in court on Thursday

PUTRAJAYA: Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has been arrested in relation to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) investigation, specifically involving RM2.6 billion (US$628 million) from the scandal-hit state fund which allegedly flowed into his personal bank accounts.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said in a statement on Wednesday (Sep 19) that Najib was taken into custody at 4.13pm at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya. 

He is expected to face charges under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act 2009 for alleged abuse of power. 

Najib will be taken to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions court on Thursday at 3pm.

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Najib has already been slapped with seven charges - three for criminal breach of trust, three for money laundering and one for abuse of power - which are tied to an alleged transfer of RM42 million into his personal account from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB. 

SRC had been the initial focus of Malaysian investigators as all the suspicious transactions involving it went through Malaysian entities.

Najib's arrest on Wednesday, however, is seen as more significant as it relates to a central allegation in the long-running scandal - that huge sums from 1MDB went into his bank accounts before the 2013 election.

Charges to be filed on Thursday regarding the RM2.6 billion deposit would be the first which are not SRC related.

The MACC said that it will work together with the Royal Malaysia Police to record Najib’s statement before he is taken to court on Thursday.

“This is to aid police investigations under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001," the MACC added.

Last Monday, Najib released documents to support his claim that the controversial RM2.6 billion deposited into his bank account was a donation from Saudi royalty. 

He added that he would reveal more details in future.

Najib has maintained his innocence and said his trial in February 2019 was the "best chance" for him to clear his name.

READ: 'This is a chance to clear my name': Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak maintains his innocence

READ: Najib's trial to begin Feb 12; court dismisses application for gag order

Source: CNA/Agencies/zl(ra)