KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was charged in court on Wednesday (Jul 4) in a probe related to the misappropriation of funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the state fund he founded.
The 64-year-old was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of using his position for gratification in connection with funds from SRC International, a unit formerly under 1MDB.
Najib pleaded not guilty to the charges after they were read to him in court. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years' jail.
For the first count, Najib was accused of committing criminal breach of trust involving a sum of RM27 million (US$6.7 million) while he was a prime minister, finance minister and advisor emeritus for SRC International.
He was accused of committing the offence at AmIslamic Bank at Jalan Raja Chulan between Dec 24 and Dec 29, 2014.
For the second count, he was accused of committing criminal breach of trust over SRC International funds totalling RM5 million while he was a prime minister and finance minister. The offence was also committed at AmIslamic Bank, between Dec 24 and Dec 29, 2014.
For the third count, Najib was accused of committing criminal breach of trust involving RM10 million between Feb 10 and Mar 2, 2015, at the same place.
For the fourth count, Najib was accused of using his position as a prime minister and finance minister of Malaysia to commit bribery involving RM42 million when he was involved in a decision on behalf of the government to provide government guarantees for loans from the Retirement Fund Incorporated Fund to SRC International amounting to RM4 billion.
He was accused of committing the offence at the prime minister's office in Putrajaya from Aug 17, 2011, to Feb 8, 2012.
If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years' jail. He also faces a minimum fine of five times the value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
The amount involved in the charges Najib face is only a fraction of the total amount allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.
The US Department of Justice has said more than US$4.5 billion was siphoned from the fund.